NO DATE THAT TIME 1951

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: June 28, 2016

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Submitted: June 28, 2016

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We stood,
Auntie's dog Dancer and me,
on the black metal balcony
looking at the soldiers
marching on the parade ground
over the way;
sergeants bellowing
at marching feet
and turned heads.

Dancer wined.

I stared.

Elsie walked past
on edge of the parade ground
looking at the soldiers;
her small face unsmiling,
her eyes peering.

Slowly she climbed
the black metal stairs
up to the balcony.

Dancer turned and growled;
I stood watching her climb.

She was Auntie's friend Molly's
5 year old daughter,
a bit older than I was.

She stood on the top step
and stared at us both:
will he bite?
She said.

No he won't bite,
he just growls,
I said.

She walked towards us gingerly,
her eyes glaring at Dancer,
who looked away
and watched
the soldiers again
through the bars of the balcony.

She stood next to me:
Mum said I can play with you
if I want to,
Elsie said,
but not to get into mischief,
her voice was moany.

I never get into mischief,
I said.

Elsie stared at me.

Mum said you climbed
under one of those gates
back there with your dog,
and was climbing a window
looking at soldiers
in a classroom,
Elsie said
matter of factly.

Who told you?
I said.

Mum
said she heard it
from a sergeant, but never
told your auntie
in case you got into trouble,
Elsie said,
her eyes studying me.

O, yes I remember that,
I said;
what shall we play?

She looked at the balcony,
then the dog, then at me.

Why didn't you tell your auntie?
She said.

Don't like worrying people,
I said.

She looked down
at the parade ground:
the soldiers were falling out
and walking off.

What do you want to play?
I said.

Not sure I want to play
with boys who get
into mischief,
she said,
then she walked away
and down the stairs.

I played
with the dog Dancer
instead.


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