I forced myself to the shops my sweet
To look for something you'd think neat
But heavy hands my heart enthralled
As I tried the latest gear they sold.

I longed for you and your advice
I longed to hear you say 'that's nice.
But with tear dimmed eyes
I hid my hurt, as I rejected yet another skirt.

My eyes did roam to other racks
With disco gear and strapless backs
To shorts and tops and jewellery too
All my darling just made for you.

I closed my eyes to keep me sane
I Willed my heart to stop the pain
As girlish laughter filtered through
School girls shopping. just like you
So young, and hopeful full of joy
Perhaps in mind a special boy.

I chose a dress I thought you'd like
But longed to hear you say 'that's nice,
 And with aching heart I left the shop
And prayed to God despair to stop
As I heard again the girlish laugh
A mother's voice, I thought it mine
And the girlish laugh - it was thine.

                    ©Helen Catherine Cramer
                    13th October 1981

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