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Ted Slade (1939 - 2004)

   
     
Arm Tickling
 
For some reason I don’t understand
my mam takes me on the bus
to the hospital twice a week,
to have my left arm tickled.
I have to lie down on a big bed
and a pretty nurse with curly black hair
strokes my arm with a wire.
She starts in the middle of my hand,
then slowly moves the wire up to my shoulder
and back, and all the time I can hear
a bee buzzing behind her,
and my arm tickles all over at once.
When I giggle the nurse smiles.
But sometimes I cry, because
I want her to stop so I can go
to play in the toy-room.
Then she tells me to shush
and be a brave boy.
Once a doctor told my mam
he wanted me to wear a corset,
but she said ‘No’, and cried
all the way home, while I sang
‘Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree
With Anyone Else But Me’
over and over and over


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