Looking German

They were all bigger than me
and said I looked German.
This was 1953,
sweets may or might not
have been rationed,
not to mention
all the still bombed out buildings,
down at heel fashions.
“Probably related to Hitler I’ll bet>”
My gran overheard the launderette.

Though Adolf had been Austrian
I spent a year or so
steering a careful course.
Hid in shadows Took long cuts rather than short.
Got to know every back ally.
Found out of the way places.
Derelict air raid shelters where I’d bunker down.

It all faded away.
They got older, so did I,
following other whims and fancies.
Sometimes life’s a strange dance.
In my teens I flirted with the Spanish language.
Wore red shirts and talked a load of bull.
No-one linked me with Franco
or offered me out for a fight
in the name of national pride

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  1. Help me here. I really like this. What I’m trying to confirm is, are you writing about your older siblings? Or other children, maybe from your childhood neighbourhood? Line 4, ‘sweets’ and sharing is steering me to think as much.

    1. Hi Odin I unfortunately had the experience of being bullied for a short period when I was nine years old. The focus of this was apparently because I looked “German” Of course I was as English as anyone else who was. To used a phrase in common parlance “They did not like the cut of my jib.”.