SARSAPARILLA AND ARM WOUNDS 1955

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

Submitted: July 22, 2016

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Submitted: July 22, 2016

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They stood inside
Baldwin's herbalist shop
looking around
at the various jars
and bottles
on the side
and shelves
going up high

Helen looked to see
if Benny's arm
had stopped
its imaginary bleeding
it had
so she removed
her girls' handkerchief
from his arm

it's stopped
she said
stopped bleeding

he looked
at his arm
where Jessie James
had shot him
in the gunfight
on Meadow Row
bomb site

so it has
he said
rubbing at
the pretend wound

how can I help you
youngsters?
the man said
at the counter
gazing at them

can we have
two glasses
of sarsaparilla
please
Helen said
to make some blood
as Benny here
was wounded
by Jessie James
in a gunfight off
Meadow Row
bomb site

or it could have been
Frank James
Benny said
I couldn't be sure
in the shoot out

the man nodded
and smiled
and went and got
two glasses
of sarsaparilla
and brought it to them

Benny paid the man
the coins from
his jeans' pocket
and they stood
by the window
and peered out

as they sipped the drinks
other people came in
and were served
some wanting other things
than sarsaparilla

what are you doing
afterwards?
Helen asked

might go to Jail Park
on the swings
he said

can I come too?
she said

of course
he said
if you want to

they sipped
their drinks
in silence
then she said
Betty's arm's broke
it came out
of the socket thingy

how'd that happen?
Benny said

she looked
at the other people
in the shop

my brother did it
swung Betty around
by her arm
and she hit a wall
and the arm
came out
she said

Benny looked at her
shall I try
to mend it?
he said

no Mum said
she'd do it
or get Dad
to do it
when he
comes home
from work
but she told
my brother off
for breaking
my doll's arm
Helen said seriously

Benny looked at her
standing there
in her thick lens spectacles
and her large eyes
gazing at him
and her white blouse
and red skirt
(slightly stained)

so they drank
their drinks
and left
but the other people
in the shop
talked together
and remained.


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