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Ye Cherry Pey

By: Joseph Ridgewell

About The Poem

This poem was taken from my poetry collection – A Child of the Jago – which focused on my upbringing on a council estate in East London in the 1970’s & 1980’s.

The Poem

That sultry night
On Wanstead Green
Sitting under a sycamore tree
Where the M11 link road rushes toxic traffic past
And we wore a different eras clothes
You without make-up
Like all girls of that more classy time
And the white blossoms of the green feathered trees
Smelling like the juices of a young man in his dandyish
And somewhere up there a lemon slice moon
Maybe even a blackened star
And the inscription on the George public house
That had puzzled my youthful bonce
In memory of
Ye Cherry Pey
As cost half a guniey
That day we had good cheer
I hope to so do maney a year
The date on the stone, 1752
Over two hundred years had passed
And in another two hundred years
What then?
Whereupon my teen queen
Grabbed me and said
Kiss me
And as our succulent lips met
And luscious tongues entwined
I knew for sure, for sure
Like a death comet, a flashing meteor
Or Keats and his Grecian urn
That beauty was truth, and truth beauty
And we’d never kiss that way again.

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