Terry let me play his harmonica
(only train noises.) He strummed
his guitar. All I remember
is ‘Last Train to San Fernando’
and the briefcase full of 45s
he’d borrowed from his friend.
The Dansette was red-hot.
We all Shadows-danced
and harmonised with The Everlys.
Terry got a job. I was six.
He didn’t like it much. The kids were hard
and he was soft. They gave him hell.
He left. He caught the boat to Liverpool.
I was seven. Men never write
but once a letter came. He’d met a girl.
She didn’t share his faith (or lack of faith.)
He loved her. Her parents disapproved.
An unambitious bum, not good enough
for precious daughter. Our parents
disapproved. The marriage was outside The Faith.
We didn’t go, and I was ten
Terry died one night while watching telly.
I was twenty-three. His kids were there
and his Beautiful Girl. We went to her church then.
He’d hardly ever worked
but spent days with his best friend
still playing 45s. I didn’t know him well
but I miss him.
He was my brother.
First published in Star Tips for Writers