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HELEN AND BUTT-ENDS

Poetry By: dadio
Poetry



A BOY AND GIRL IN 1950S LONDON


Submitted:Mar 18, 2014    Reads: 2    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


Teatime done with
I went with Helen
across the bomb site
off Meadow Row

and crossed
the New Kent Road
to the ABC cinema
and along side

the dark alleys
dim lights
damp stink
she just behind me

clutching her doll
Battered Betty
by one arm
was that a rat?

she half said
and screamed
could be
I said

you see
them at night
down here
she clutched my arm

with her free hand
Battered Betty
swaying behind her
what we looking for?

she asked
cigarette ends
I said
why?

What do you
want them for?
she asked
make up a smoke

with Rizla fag papers
I said
you smoke
old tobacco?

she said
put it
in your mouth?
If I get

enough tobacco
sure
I said
looking around

the ground
yuk
she said
sometimes

I find dropped coins
I found a cuff link once
silver it was
but one

ain't much good
unless you're
a one armed man
I said

does your mum know
you smoke?
God no
I said

she has enough
to worry about
without me
adding to it

she frowned
clutched my arm tighter
well you shouldn't smoke
she said

you're only 9 like me
and I would never smoke
and our children
when we have them

won't smoke either
she said
she looked
at Battered Betty steely

I pushed her words
and images
out of my mind
for the moment

I saw a semi-smoked
Senior Service
on the ground
by the wall

and stooped
to pick it up
it's got lipstick on it
Helen said distastefully

it's has a woman's
spittle inside
I looked at her
disapproving gaze

and threw it away
yes you're right
I said
men's spittle's best

she frowned darkly
ok
I said
not really

I just jest
another time maybe
I thought
taking her deeper

into the dark
and rats
and damp stink
of drains

remembering it all
it sinking
into my
9 year brain.





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