RUDE WORDS CHALKING 1957

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

Submitted: August 18, 2016

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Submitted: August 18, 2016

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Lydia sat
on the red painted
brick front doorstep
of her parents'
ground floor flat,
in a mood,
fuming,
elbows on her knees,
chin on hands,
staring out
at the Square.

Behind her
in the flat
her parents rowed:
he arguing he had
come home drunk,
yes, but it had
sung to her:
I'll walk you
home again Kathleen,
and she(the wife)
saying: and all
the fecking Square
could hear you,
and I'm not Kathleen,
so who the fecks
this Kathleen?

Her big brother Hem
was out pulling wings
off butterflies or flies
or teasing the girls
on the block.

Her big sister Gloria
snoozed hangovered
in the bed snoring.

Lydia wanted
Benny to come by,
wanted his ear to hear,
his voice to calm her
and make her pleased.

The baker drew up
in his horse-drawn wagon
and got off
and got loaves
from the back
and took them
to the flats he knew.

She watched him walk,
and his horse
stand still nose
in a nosebag, eating.

The rows indoors
continued.

The horse stood
still eating.

Benny came across
from his parents' flat
upstairs,
hazel eyed
and quiff of brown hair
and a smile.

What are you
doing sitting there?
He said.

Waiting for you,
she said.

What's up?
He asked.

She nodded back
towards the flat
behind her
and rowing voices.

What's it about?
He asked.

Dad came home
drunk last night,
singing to the new moon
and my mother
on the doorstep
and an unholy hour,
she said.

And so?
Said Benny,
what's new?

He sang I'll walk
you home again Kathleen
and my mum's
not Kathleen,
Lydia said.

Where we going?
He said.

Not Southend or Edinburgh
that's for sure,
she said,
somewhere to get
away from this
until the air is cleared.

London Bridge
train station watch
the steam trains,
have glasses of milk
and biscuits?
He said,
I've some money.

She nodded,
looked back
the rowing flat,
sighed and took his hand
and walked through
the Square leaving
the rowing behind,
and down the slope
to get the bus
to the station.

Benny by her side,
walking and talking,
watching boys
on the wall,
rude words chalking.


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