Sweden

Tack, Tack, tousen tack.*
That’s all you have to say.
I can’t.  I can’t.
Too embarrassed to thank my hostess
I tried to hide.
Bright red, eleven years old.
My first trip abroad.

I’d travelled alone for thirty hours
through thirty foot waves.
Harwich to Göthenburg,
Sjoe sjuk, sea sick,
another Swedish expression I learnt.
I can still taste the bread and butter,
cheese that was shaved onto my plate,
flavours blasting my post-war palate.

And on the beach,
an old man changing,
his testicles hanging down.

Girls sunning topless,
me, amazed at how pleasurable
they were to see.

© Anthony Fisher January 2005
*Tack, Tack, tousen tack. – Thank you, thank you, a thousand thank yous.

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