Charity begins at Selfridges

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

he said

I only put two pence in his hat

Bless you, he said

They were playing Teddy Bears Picnic

Every day

I pass that way

hardened

But it was Teddy Bears Picnic

not Edelweiss

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

Just think

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

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2 Comments on “Charity begins at Selfridges”

  1. wilbotan says:

    This is a fantastic poem, really brings up images that I recognise of London. Unfortunate that you didn’t get to see your poem read, but great that it was broadcast!


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