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Terry Collett


Firm Earth Beneath.


Milka escaped
from the farmhouse
without
her mother seeing

so she said
and her brothers
were out fishing
so she persuaded

Benedict to allow her
to tag along behind
(beside) him
what about your mother?

he asked
o it will only be
chores she
wants doing

Milka said
they walked
to the place
where the peacocks

were kept
and stared
through the wire
at them

the colourful cocks
but dull
as mud hens
making their calls

proudly walking
beautiful plumage
she drew up
close to Benedict

her hand hovering
near to his
but not touching
like a bird

in mid flight waiting
she talked
of the dullness
of the hens

and brightness
of the cocks
he listened to her
smelling the perfume

she’d liberated
from her mother’s bag
he said he’d wanted
a job on a farm nearby

but he didn’t get it
she put her arm
under his
and squeezed

him close
she was glad
her brothers
were fishing

or they’d
be with Benedict instead
practising the judo
or karate out back

at the farm
she wanted him
to hold her tight
to draw her nearer

than she was
she’d put on
the shorter dress
when she saw him

at the door
asking her mother
about her brothers
earlier that morning

and had rushed
to dress
to catch him
up the road

without her mother
seeing her go
they moved on
from the peacock place

and walked the road
and crossed a field
he touching her hand
the sky blue

and cloudless
he silent
she talking
of seeing

the latest
Elvis film
wanting him
to ask her out

but he didn’t
he climbed the style
and through the woods
by the small river

and his hand
holding hers
she feeling
his fingers

on her skin
his thumb rubbing
the back
of her hand

and maybe
she thought
he’ll stop
and kiss

and hold
but he didn’t
he walked on
through the woods

breathing in
the smell
of flowers
and water

and air
touched by birds
and heat
she wanting

a heaven
but having
firm earth
beneath her feet.

Submitted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, July 31, 2013

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