The Bisto Tin

bisto tin pic

My mother told me before I wed

Before I entered my marriage bed

To always put a few bob by

In case I felt the need to fly

‘Make sure you have some cash reserves

For when he starts to get on your nerves’

So ever since my wedding day

I’ve been saving up for running away.

Before we had kids I could be quite flash

With my own wage packet full of cash

So in love, we shared everything

Except my secret Bisto tin

I put a few shillings in when I could

I never told him, but I knew I should

Although I loved him more with everyday

I still saved up for running away.

The years went by, our family grew

We became six, instead of two

With only one wage, we didn’t have much

Making ends meet could be quite tough

More and more I was dipping in

To my ever diminishing Bisto tin

Schools looking for money nearly everyday

Nothing left to save for running away.

Mostly I saved just a quid here and there

That was all that I could spare

Sometimes an odd fiver from my child benefit

If he only knew he’d have a fit

He had always worked so hard

He even gave me my own credit card

Still, ever since my wedding day

I’ve been saving up for running away.

The kids grew up and they got jobs

Every week they gave me a few bob

The Bisto tin was looking more healthy

And although we weren’t quite wealthy

We started having weekend breaks

Instead of sausages we were eating steaks

But even through these happy days

I was still saving for running away.

Recession came and times got tougher

Our relationship began to suffer

He lost his job and was on the dole

And becoming a right pain in the hole

He wasn’t long turning to the drink

While I was living on the brink

He sat watching telly every day

All I could think of was running away.

With children’s allowance long since gone

My wedding ring was in the pawn

The bank were looking to repossess

I really couldn’t handle the stress

I got a cleaning job to earn some money

Scrubbing loos just wasn’t funny

My back was broken everyday

And not a hope of running away.

Gradually we turned ourselves around

No longer counting pennies and pounds

We paid our bills and cleared our debts

We were as happy as when we’d first met

We even had our vows renewed

Surrounded by our extensive brood

And I wondered on that fabulous day

How I ever considered running away.

The doctor rang, told me the news

I couldn’t believe it, I refused

To believe that this could be the end

I just could not comprehend

After all the years we spent together

I thought that it would be forever

But this illness was here to stay

From this there was no running away.

The time had come to say goodbye

He was leaving me, he was going to die

Life can be cruel, I was so sure

That they would by now have found a cure

But there was no way to ease his pain

And all my prayers, they were in vain

For the first time since our wedding day

I really felt like running away.

I always thought he had no clue

But all along the old chancer knew

That I was hiding my spare cash in

My old reliable Bisto tin

He made me promise when he was gone

I wouldn’t stay here on my own

I was to enjoy every single day

With the money I’d saved for running away.

Now as I sit here on my own

Feeling loneliness I’ve never known

Looking at his empty chair

The pain is more than I can bear

With memories of when we were young

When our married life had just begun

But I’ll keep my promise come what may

My time has come for running away.

Trish Nugent©


About trishnugentwriter

A wife and mother of four who writes and acts as much as she can in between the housework and shopping. I have been published in 'Irelands Own' 'Intallaght' and 'Tallaght Echo'. I have won prizes for poetry including 1st place in The Bealtaine Writing comp in 2012.I'm a member of drama group in 'An Cosan' in Tallaght and also 'Platform One' Writers group in Rua Red.
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