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

Submitted: May 23, 2013

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Submitted: May 23, 2013



After morning matinee
and after dinner
of sausages and mash
and baked beans

you met Helen
by the post office
at the end
of Rockingham Street

she had on
the red flowered dress
you liked
and held Battered Betty
her doll
by an arm

her hair was held
in plaits
by elastic bands

and her thick lens spectacles
were smeary where
she'd touched them
but not cleaned them

where are we going?
she asked
how about London Bridge
train station?
you said
we can watch the trains
come and go
and watch the porters
rush about with luggage
and things

she gazed at you
through her thick lens
shall I tell my mum
where we're going?

sure if you think
she'll worry
you said

be best if she knows
Helen said
don't want her to worry
where I've gone

you said
and so you both
walked back
to her mother's house
and she told her mother
and her mother came out
and looked at you
and said
ok so long
as you're with Benedict

and so you walked back
along Rockingham Street
and got a bus
to London Bridge
railway station

and sat on the seats
by the conductor

and this guy with glasses
and a thin moustache
gazed at Helen
from the seat opposite
his eyes moving over her
his gaze focusing
on her knees
where her dress ended
he licked his lips
his hands on his thighs

Helen looked away
pretending she didn't
see him looking
you stared at the man
watching his eyes
dark and deep
they say it's rude to stare
you said

the man looked at you
kids should be seen
not heard
he replied

and you're seeing a lot
you said
he muttered something
and got off
at the next stop
giving you
a hard stare

Helen said nothing
but seemed relieved
after a while you got off
the bus at the railway station
and went inside

there were crowds
of people
and the smell of steam
and bodies washed
and unwashed

and the sound of trains
getting ready to leave
and voices and shouts
of porters and rushing
and going and coming
of people

and you sat
with Helen
on a seat
on the platform
she with Battered Betty

and you with your
six-shooter in your
inside pocket ready
to get any bad cowboys
who came your way

and Helen said
why was that man
staring at me
on the bus?

just a creep
wanting a peep
you said

peep at what?
she asked
I'm not beautiful

yes you are
you said
anyway it wasn't
your beauty
he was looking at
you said

what then?
she asked

oh something
he oughtn't
you said

and a loud blast of steam
echoed around
the station
and a voice called
and a whistle blew

and you all
sat watching
and Battered Betty
and six-shooter
carrying cowboy

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