Friday, 30 March 2012

Early Memories - Guernsey VII
The Tuck Box

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Early Memories - Guernsey VII - The Tuck Box

We each had a tuck box,
they mostly looked the same;
some were red, others blue,
with studs along the sides
and the all-important lock
to keep the contents safe.

Henry’s box was the finest
he’d made it for himself.
The dove tails were immaculate,
the brass hinge and locks inset
and gleaming French polish
bought out the oak’s tight grain.

My box was just a normal one
but I’d customised it in style
and covered it in carpet cuts
saved from my parents’ house
It looked pretty different;
like a block of soft brown fur

Each of us kept our treasures
confined in our tuck box.
They contained all we had;
our toys, sweets, comics,
pictures of heroes and
letters from Mum and Dad.

To us each box was sacred,
they were our only private space,
a place no one else would enter
where our secrets could be held safe
Save from the house masters;
who’d rummage and pry within.

My tuck box was covered in carpet
and my treasure were kept therein
but it wasn’t the only box I had.
Like Henry I’d made others
as strong as his oak box
but these were in my mind
and they were tightly locked.

John Carré Buchanan
30 March 2012


  1. So you found a photo then, our crew have a blue and a green between the three of them and the green is still in service. Full marks for coming up with a poem about such an item... I like it.

    1. Bryan, Thanks for your kind comment, finding the images was stunning, they took me right back 41 years to the day I bought the tuck box and the big trunk with my parents. They just looked exactly the same, I guess the old adage is true if it's not broke don't try to fix it. I also realised that some of my memories are probably as fuzzy as my carpeted box!

  2. I really enjoy your poetry John. Although my experience of college was different to yours, the images you evoke recall for me nostalgic memories of those days, like forgotten aromas which suddenly bring to mind old home cooking, friendships and shared memories. Keep it up old friend!

    1. Jonathan, Thank you so much for your comment, I have found that since I began this project all kinds of things are coming back to me. I remember hanging back to listen to you playing a fantastically fast whirling piece of music on the organ to this day it is one of my favourite musical moments, I don’t remember its name but I remember what a great start to the day it was.

  3. Nice poetry that you write
    Nice place that you live in
    Nice person that you are ...

    1. Benyamin, Thanks very much for the compliments.


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