GUNFIGHT AT THE BOMB SITE 1955

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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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Helen climbed
the concrete stairs
to Benny's flat
where his mother answered

and Helen said
is Benny home?
no he's out Helen
his mother said

out where?
Helen said
he went out
with his six-shooter

and cowboy hat
so he's maybe
on a bomb site
try the one

up Meadow Row
he's often there
his mother said
Helen nodded

and said thank you
and walked down the stairs
and across the Square
and down the slope

across Rockingham Street
and up along Meadow Row
she'd not brought
her doll Battered Betty

as her brother
had torn off an arm in play
and it needed mending
when she came

to the greengrocer shop
on Arch Street
she walked along
to view the bomb site

and putting a hand
over her eyebrows
to block out the morning sun
she gazed at the huge bomb site

anxiously(she didn't like
bomb sites alone)
she saw him over
by the railway bridge

firing his six-shooter
at an imaginary enemy
she called out to him
and walked across

the rough ground
of the bomb site
towards him
he stopped firing

and put his six-shooter
away in an holster
with a twirl of fingers
been looking for you

she said
your mum said
you might be here
Benny pushed back

his cowboy hat
to the back of his head
his quiff of hair
standing up

had a gunfight planned here
so had to leave early
he said
gunfight

she said
with who?
she looked around
at invisible enemies

Frank and Jessie James
he said
and their gang of course
she looked in the direction

he pointed and nodded
need any help from me?
she said
looking at Benny

through her thick lens spectacles
no I shot them both
and the gang fled
he said

did you get shot?
she asked
only in the arm
he said

pointing at his left arm
she looked at his 7 year old arm
but didn't see
a wound or blood

but pretended
looks bad
she said
maybe I should put

an handkerchief around it
ok if you like
he said
she fiddled in her skirt pocket

and brought out
a small girl's handkerchief
and tied it around his arm
and tied a knot

is that better?
she said
yes it is
he said

didn't want to bleed to death
no
she said
and they walked off

across the bomb site
let's go to Baldwin's
the herbalist shop
and get some sarsaparilla

to make more blood
he said
and she looked at his arm
and saw imaginary blood all red.


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