The fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
I see no reason
Why gunpowder and treason
Ever should be forgot.
No vast autumn bonfires here tonight. No magical boxes of Standard Fireworks, all red and purple from Maddens' locked glass cabinet and hidden until now in the garage. No Catherine wheels or Roman candles, no rockets in milk bottles, no volcanoes. No Uncle Geoff and his mates lighting blue touch paper with their cigarettes. No hotdogs or potatoes in their jackets.
No scarecrows in dolls' prams outside the church hall. No "Penny for the Guy".
No frosty night crackling with the smell of gunpowder. No frozen little fingers, woolly hats. No Christmas-coming-soon.
My children don't know this English autumn rite. Don't know the story of Guy Fawkes, Robert Catesby and Father Garnet, of the desperate plot they hatched not far from where I was born. Haven't stared, goggle-eyed, when learning of their gruesome end.
I wonder if they will have room in their lives for two histories?