Terry Collett


Never Told Her That.


Sutcliffe walked
in a kind of shuffling his heels
kind of way
with hands in his pockets

and school tie undone
and hanging loose
you’d walked home
from school with him

as O’Brien was off
with dysentery
I find that pottery teacher
a bit of a twat

he said
the way he held up
your work
in that dismissive way

to show you up
you shrugged your shoulders
I hate rolling out
the messing clay

and I’ve no idea
how to make a pissy pot
than how to make
a pie like my mother’s

he’s a pockmarked
bugger anyway
Sutcliffe said
and the fecking car

he drives to school
that red sports job
you came to the road
where Sutcliffe lived

and waited
I’ll surprise him one day
you said
I’ll make him

the fecking pot
he wants
Sutcliffe laughed
and shuffled up

the stairs to his flat
with a wave of his hand
and nod of his
blonde haired head

you walked over
the crossing
and down Meadow Row
by the bombed out houses

Ingrid was sitting
on the kerb
with her face
in her hands

she looked up
at the sound
of your approach
what’s a matter

with you sitting there
all glum?
you said
no one’s indoors

I’m locked out
she said
where’s your parents?
you asked

no idea
I knocked and knocked
but no one answered
she said

have to wait now
until they come back
when will that be?
you asked

God knows
she said
last time it was late
as they went to the races

and mum forgot
to leave me
the front door key
and I had to wait

out in the cold
on the stairs
until they got back
you should have knocked

at our door
Mum’d got you
something to eat
and you would

have been warm
by our fire
you said
didn’t want to disturb anyone

she said
she looked at the road
and closed her eyes
well come home

with me now
Mum won’t mind
and she’ll tell
your parents

where you are
when they get back
you said
he won’t like it

she said
tough titty
you said
she laughed

and got out
of the kerb
and stood
next to you

are you sure
your mum won’t mind?
of course she won’t
ok

she said
and you both walked down
Meadow Row
and crossed over

to the flats
through the Square
you knew your mum
wouldn’t mind

she knew Ingrid’s parents
and knew their ways
and faults
and his drunken voice

and pushed back hat
but as you walked
with Ingrid up the stairs
you never told her that.

Submitted: Saturday, September 14, 2013
Edited: Monday, September 16, 2013

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