Terry Collett


Walk In A Park


You took Fay
to Kennington Park
it being a fine day
and with no school

and her father
away working
and she sat
on the bus

there in her orange dress
which matched
her fair hair
tied in a ponytail

her brown sandals
and white socks
hands in her lap
her eyes large

in expectation
you sat beside her
in your checked
open neck shirt

and faded blue jeans
battered black shoes
you both swaying
to the bus’s motion

and when you got off
at the Park
she said hadn’t been
to the park before

and that her father
took them
to the park nearby
sometimes on a Sunday

after mass
if she’s been good
and could recite
the Pater Noster

right through
in Latin
without mistakes
what the heck’s

the Pater Noster?
you asked
the Lord’s Prayer
she said

the Park was busy
people everywhere
parents with kids
and without

and kids
with no parents
and she was talking
about the nuns

who taught
at her school
how strict they were
and the girl who was hit

over the knuckles
with a ruler
for not knowing
the Credo all through

you didn’t bother to ask
what that was
but saw her eyes
bright blue

and looking around
the grass and trees
and bushes
and you both sat

on the grass
and you said
your parents brought you here
on Sundays

and you watched
the cricket or played ball
and sometimes
your old man

bought ice creams
or lemonade
and she talked
of her mother

and how she
had to work hard
to please her father
and sometimes

they rowed
and sometimes he hit
her mother if the row
got out of hand

and she went quiet
and looked at you
don’t tell anyone
she said

I’m not to speak
of what goes on
indoors
I won’t say a word

you said
what about an ice cream?
you said
I haven’t any money

she said
I have
you said
my mother gave me 2/6d

for doing chores
o yes then
she said
and went with you

to the ice cream place
and ordered two
and paid the coins
and got your change

and walked along
the path
she taking hold
of your hand in hers

and you sensed
the pulse of her
through your fingers
and the sun was warm

and the sky
a bright blue
with just 12 year old Fay
and 12 year old you.

Submitted: Saturday, July 20, 2013
Edited: Monday, July 22, 2013

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