Christmas poem by Gerard Rochford. Christmas Cider. Enjoy these fabulous days, Yareah friends. Merry Christmas for you, your families and friends!
Apples want to be cider, just leave ‘em be,
their yeast and sweetness will do the work for you.
Frank, who lived in a cottage on the common,
gathered them into an old tin bath
and we trod them wearing wellies,
then left the sludge in his kitchen,
flies and all, for the magic to commence.
It was said that he also distilled, made calvados,
words I knew nothing of. There were murmurs
of something secret, winks, which every child knows
mean grown-up matters, like expecting a baby and sex.
This was the nineteen-forties.
The sludge settled, I won’t say clarified
but clear enough before the bubbles ceased
to siphon into ginger-beer bottles, marble and all.
I was allowed to drink, got drunk as a wasp.
Frank said: I must keep a bottle till Christmas for the wife.
And tempted as he was that’s what he did.
He loved her you see. That was a secret I knew.