Do you have anything delivered to your door? Maybe the newspaper or a magazine? Maybe a bottle of milk, or even a carton of orange juice?

Orange Juice

by Michael Rosen

We get orange juice
delivered to our door
with the milk,
on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
We get one pint of milk
one carton of orange juice.

one Monday morning
I go out there
and there's one pint of milk
no orange.

So I go,
'Damn - the milkman's
forgotten to deliver the orange.
I love orange juice for breakfast.'

So on Tuesday,
I got up in time to meet the milkman
and I say to him,
'Hey, you forgot to deliver the orange yesterday.'
'No, I never,' he said.
'Afraid you did,' I said.
'I delivered your orange yesterday,' he says.
'Well it wasn't there when I came
to collect it.'
So I got another one off him.

On Wednesday,
same again,
one pint of milk
no orange.

So on Thursday
I waited for him again.
'No orange yesterday,' I said.
'Look I delivered it,' he says.
'Well it's disappearing,' I say.
'Someone's nicking it then,' he says
And off he went.

my mind began to think ...
Who is it creeping up to our doorstep?
Who's getting our lovely orange
for their breakfast?

Someone on their way to work?
Someone walking a dog?
Someone who nips out and collects it
and nips back in again
and then shares it out round the family?

So I made a plan.

On Friday
I got up
same time as the milkman,
picked up the orange carton
took it indoors
emptied the orange out into a jug
poured in some orange squash
up to about five centimetres from the top
and then I took some
hot Jamaica sauce we've got.
And I don't know whether you know
what that's like
but if you just put a little speck of it
on your tongue
it feels as if someone's put a match
in your mouth.
I love it. I put it on my rice.
So I took this stuff
and I shook in half a bottle-load of it.
shuk shuk shuk shuk
shuk shuk shuk shuk
Then I sealed up the carton
and put it back on our doorstep
in exactly the same place
and then I went back to bed.

Now I had wanted to stay awake
but I dozed off by mistake.
when I got up
I went straight to the front door
opened it and
there was one pint of milk
and NO orange.
I was so pleased.

And then I thought -
I made up a little scene in my mind.
I thought,
my orange thief is
someone who nips out
nicks the orange,
nips back in
and shares it out with the family.
So this morning,
this person did just that.
Gets back indoors,
opens up the orange
everyone sitting round the breakfast table
pours out a glass for everyone
lifts up the glass
and goes,
'Here's best wishes to those lovely people
at number 11
who give us our fresh orange.'
Raises it to the lips,
It feels like someone's
jammed a banger in his mouth.
His mouth's on fire
And he goes dancing round the house
for the next hour,
stuffs his head under the tap
fills his mouth with water,
goes off dancing round the house again
he can't get rid of it.

Maybe that's what happened
Maybe it didn't
It could have been a woman
it could have been a kid.
All I know is
we haven't lost any more orange


This poem was selected as part of the BritLit project. To find out more about BritLit visit our TeachingEnglish site.


What do you get delivered to your door? Pizzas? Internet shopping? Water?

Language level: 


TheFifthMarauder's picture
TheFifthMarauder 30 October, 2015 - 13:54

Thank u for the fantastic literatures but there is too little of them. I've read all of the and I can't get enough of it. Please can you upload mor literature?

Thank you in advance.

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JoEditor's picture
JoEditor 2 November, 2015 - 12:53

Thanks for your mail. We're going to have some new material in this section soon to celebrate the life of Shakespeare. I hope you'll like them. We'll let you know on the home page when they're ready, it will probably be early next year. 
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team) 

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Yasir's picture
Yasir 30 August, 2014 - 08:42

I think it isn't poem. I like orange juice but i get delivered nothing except water.
It was a good story .

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Yvsen's picture
Yvsen 24 April, 2014 - 08:53

After reading through the poem, I recalled back my own experience. It's quite similar to what the poet wrote :D

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