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Dolly’s Sweet Shop


Her apple face always smiling,

1234567she stands guard


over lines of screw-top jars

1234567as full as her figure.


Icing sugar dusts her eyebrows

1234567and there’s a touch


of strawberry red around her lips.

1234567Her twitching nose


plays with the sweetness

1234567of raspberry syrup,


marshmallow puffs, and sugar mice

1234567while humbugs,


gobstoppers and black bullets

1234567tease eyes away


from parma violets and love hearts

1234567competing for space


on the counter…… Oh! the smell –

1234567Aunt Dolly’s mixture –


tempting pocket money

1234567from the clutched palms


of children who scuttle off, rustling

1234567brown paper bags –


searching for the eyeballs

1234567she’s slipped in – winking.



© Valerie Morton

Picture 10417670, illustration by Charles Robinson, 1902, image copyright Mary Evans / Charles Robinson/Pollinger/Lucinda Gosling



Valerie Morton’s work has been published in various magazines and anthologies, and has won or been placed in a number of competitions. She completed an Open University degree in 2011 and has taught Creative Writing at a mental health charity. Her first collection Mango Tree was published by Indigo Dreams Publishing in May 2013. Handprints, her second collection, was published in December 2015 by the same publisher. During 2016 she has been Poet in Residence at the Clinton Baker Pinetum in Hertfordshire running a series of workshops and publishing an anthology. She is a member of Ver Poets.