Through wire-frame glasses
small eyes blinked
below a stiff brown wig.

He'd look at my da's suit
which he'd seen every week
since I was ten.

'Half a crown'. I'd nod.
He'd place a ticket
on his blotting pad,

dip a broad nib
in a pot of ink
and scratch the deal.

A pinch of pounce
flicked on the wetness
and I'd walk away.

He never knew
the shame I felt,
or if he did he never showed it.