When I was walking from the tube to my work at an ad agency just behind Oxford Street in London’s West End, I had a choice. Did I take a short cut through Selfridges (which always turned out to be a rather expensive route because I always ended up spending money there) or walk past the buskers outside Selfridges – this being a far less expensive (but less fun) alternative.
Charity begins at Selfridges
God bless you
I only put two pence in his hat
Bless you, he said
They were playing Teddy Bears Picnic
I pass that way
But it was Teddy Bears Picnic
that made me reach for my purse
God bless you, he said
If only He would
it would be worth
two pence a day
for the rest of my life
For fourteen pence a week
I could be saved.
‘Charity’ was published in the Anglo-Welsh Review. Not long afterwards I was approached by Harlech TV. They wanted to use my poem for their late night poetry spot. The close down spot. What used to be called, The Epilogue. The last thing you saw before the telly was switched off for the night.
Sadly, living in London (and long before the days of digital TV) I never got to see my poem being read on TV but I did get to see the cheque they sent me!
© Andrea Neidle. My Life in Poems