Saturday 6 June 2015

Because My Parents Were Communists, I Thought Everything They Did Was Communist

Because my parents were Communists
I thought everything they did was Communist.
Not just going to Trafalgar Square
or holding branch meetings in our front room.
Not just shouting at Anthony Eden on the radio
or crying about the Spanish Civil War.
I mean everything.
Like camping, or Marmite.
Camping was definitely Communist
because we went with other Communists.
Marmite was Communist because Mum
said it was good for us.
They liked going into old churches
and my father especially liked old walls.
He loved an old wall.
He knew a poem about an old wall
and sometimes he said it out loud.
Old walls must have been pretty Communist too.
They said they thought the butcher
we went to was very good.
I once heard them recommend him
to some Communist friends of theirs
so he must have been a Communist butcher
I thought
until one day I was playing football
with the butcher's son and he said
that his dad said that we should drop the bomb
on Russia.
Later, much later,
things got much more complicated.
Especially when my mother said,
'I think I'm an anarcho-Stalinist'.