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Terry Collett


A Question of Love.


After climbing off
the school bus
she grabbed the sleeve

of your coat and said
I want to talk to you
and so you stayed behind

as your sister and hers
walked on ahead
and her brothers ran off

in a game of tag
she released your sleeve
and brushed the hair

out of her eyes
what is it? you asked
walking beside her

along the side of the road
the winter afternoon darkening
what was Roland

saying to you in class?
she asked
Roland?

yes Roland
in the last lesson of maths?
you looked over

at the tall trees
becoming tall giants
as the sky began to dim

he was talking about his sister
you said
then why was he looking at me?

perhaps he finds you attractive
you replied
she slapped your arm

with her hand
don't talk nonsense
he wouldn't find

Marilyn Monroe attractive
if she sat
on his bony knees

she said looking at you
with her big blue eyes
you rubbed

your injured arm
playfully
he was saying his sister

had found his collection
of dirty magazines under his bed
you said

a car whizzed by
and she turned
and shouted back at it

some words her mother
would have slapped her
for saying

she sighed and said
why can't you tell me the truth?
you stopped and stood facing her

her blue eyes gazing at you
searching yours
as if she'd left something there

on a previous occasion
he said he didn't know
what I saw in you

her eyes enlarged
and what did you say?
she asked

in the sky over her shoulder
the moon was beginning to shine
in competition

with the weak sun
I said you snogged
pretty good

you said
she slapped your arm
and walked on

no
you called out
I was only joking

she stopped
and turned
and glared at you

I said you were the best thing
to happen to me
since God created Sundays

you're lying
she said
all right

you said
seeing her eyes watering
I said I loved you

you said
looking at her
wondering if her hand

might slap you again
did you?
yes

and what did he say?
she asked
he just shrugged

his shoulders
and drew a picture
of Mr Parrot on the corner

of his maths book
she was silent
and looked by you

at the incoming traffic
then kissed your cheek
leaving a damp patch

like a small oasis
on a dry landscape
of your 14 year old skin

conjuring up images
her mother
would define as sin.

Submitted: Thursday, July 05, 2012

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