​Young Smith

Today our family would be disfunctional
Then it was just grumpy parents
Being the family brat wasn't easy
I got hit more times than a ball
During a Bradman innings
My bum broke many rulers

My mother was a big woman
Maybe girth beating height
But could she move
The first four steps jet like
Catching me off guard more than once
But I had her after 10 yards

We didn't have a car
We all rode bikes
Mum with Christine on the back
Dad had a big black bike
Nothing cool about these bikes
Functional and sturdy

Looked good Sunday mornings
Off to Sunday School
Dressed in a suit with shorts
Little red tie hair slicked back
Oldest to youngest we'd walk
Single file there and back

Many years we went
Arriving home in time
To smell Mum's roast
Or the stink of mushrooms
The threat of getting wood
Extended our religious education

Haircut days were sad days
Mum used clippers on our locks
There wasn't any style
It looked bloody awful
Then it was Dad's turn
He looked just as bad

We'd go to O'Shea's
Watch TV each evening
We didn't get one until '64
After Robin Hood we'd go home
They had a big back Yard
We'd play cricket in summer

Frank O'Shea coached the under 16's
I went to training for years
Never missed a pie night
Mixing our soft drinks
Into many weird flavours
While eating our weight in pies

I took up smoking at seven
A few of us at Peter Hoare's
Lit up a Viscount
A habit that lasted 25 years
Once mum caught me in the toilet
Dad used his hands to explain I shouldn't

Tried sports of all sorts
Played baseball against Charlton
Badminton in Swan Hill
Basketball cricket and footy
Was never a superstar
Or ever very good at all

Trevor delivered papers for Weavers
Broke Christine's window once
The Herald was a tough paper
I delivered for Pat Allen
Really hated rainy days
And the Saturday Age at Kirks

Grade three was a breakthrough year
I was first given the strap
Grade six had extremes
Threatened with the cuts
Then on the stage at Speech Day
Ended my primary school learning

Many family firsts to my credit
Getting the strap in school
Playing footy for Donald
A state champion twice
Two marriages ending in divorce
The list just goes and goes

Childhood feeds adulthood
Now a family loner
Spending adulthood looking for reason
Not friendly with siblings
I have plenty of friends
Liking me for what I am