Tim Cunningham outside No. 2 St. Johns Square

Mrs. Kirby

A protestant lived in our house.

We rented the place downstairs,

She had a room on top.

I knew she was different

 

Because people said she was a protestant

As if she has measles

Or came from the North Pole.

Once when we giggled in church,

 

The woman behind said

That I was as bad as a protestant.

On Christmas day when I was six,

A game of rings

 

And a huge bar of Bournville chocolate-

I remember that because it tasted

Different to a sixpenny Cadbury’s-

Were slipped under the door.

 

My mother said they came for Mrs. Kirby.

At last I knew what a protestant was

Thought I had always thought

That Father Christmas was one of us.

 

– Tim Cunningham

Photographs by Natalie Woociker:

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