NOT ALONE 1958

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

Submitted: April 03, 2016

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Submitted: April 03, 2016

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I am sitting on the grass
at the front of Banks House
polishing my silver looking
six-shooter
my old man had bought me
in the junk shop
off of the New Kent Road

Ingrid walks
along the grass
by the flats and sits
beside me crossing her legs
and putting her elbows
on her knees

I look at her
you look unhappy
what's up
your old man
had a go at you again?

She looks at the coal wharf
across the road
where coal lorries
and horse-drawn wagons
are being loaded up with coal

he did last night
she says
then this morning
there was an almighty row
between him and Mum
and I was frightened
he would hit me again
but he didn't
when I went past him
to my bedroom
he just glared at me
but did nothing
and when I came out
after getting dressed
he had gone to work
and Mum was sitting
there crying

did he hit her?
I say

no she was just so angry
with him that she cried
Ingrid says

so what now?
I ask

don't know
she says

what did he hit you
for last night?
I ask

because of my cut thumb
and because we
are blood brother and sister
after doing that
thumb cutting ritual thing
she says

he wasn't pleased then?
I say

she shakes her head

what did your mum say?

She just cleaned it
and put this plaster on
and went and rowed
with Dad about hitting me
now I don't know
what will happen
when he gets home
from work later
she says anxiously

I put my six-shooter away
in the holster on my belt
around my blue jeans
and say
let's go get a 1d drink
from the Penny shop
and maybe some
Black Jacks and Fruit Salads

have you money then?
she asks

I've got 6d
that'll cover it
I say

ok
she says
and gets up
from the grass

so do I
and we walk along
by Banks House
and into the Square

she talking about
her old man

I listen
looking at her
and a fading bruise
on her cheek bone

she thinking
(maybe)
she's glad
she's with 10 year old me
and not alone.


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