TALK ABOUT ARSENIC 1958

Reads: 43  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
A BOY AND GIRL IN LONDON IN 1958 AND TALK ABOUT ARSENIC

Submitted: May 14, 2015

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 14, 2015

A A A

A A A


What's arsenic?
Lydia asked

she broke the word down
into two components
making it sound
a bit rude

it's a poison I think
I said

POISON?
she said loudly

we were walking up
Meadow Row
it was Saturday morning
and we were
on our way
to Saturday matinee

why?
I asked
looking at her sideways
taking in her lank hair
and thin frame

my mum said this morning
that she'd put arsenic
in my dad's tea
and poison can kill you
can't it?

can do yes
I said

and where does
she get it from?
Lydia asked

don't know
chemist I expect
it's a sort of chemical thing
I said

what if she gets me
to buy it
will I be arrested
for helping Mum
poison Dad?
will I hang
if I'm found guilty?
she said in desperation

we crossed the bomb site
off Meadow Row
over rough bricks
and rubble

I think she was kidding
just saying it
I said

she sounded serious to me
Lydia said

why'd she say it?
I asked

my dad came home
drunk again last night
singing at the top
of his voice
in the Square
I'll walk you home
again Kathleen
andMum was none
too pleased

I see
I said
looking at her
as we walked
the faded flower dress
she wore had seen
better days
and the cardigan
of off white
had only two buttons
I don't think
you can buy
arsenic that easy
these days
and they wouldn't sell it
to a nine year old girl
I said

they wouldn't?
she said

no not these days

but what if Mum buys it
and kills my dad?

she won't
she loves your old man
too much
I said

I don't think she does
Lydia said
not this morning any way

we walked across
the crossing and along
the New Kent Road

if she does
I said
and your old lady hangs
then I'm sure
my mum will adopt you
as my sister

Lydia looked at me seriously
I don't want
to be your sister
she said
I want to marry you
when we're older
and I can't marry
my brother can I?

I looked ahead
as we approached
the ABC cinema
I guess not
I said

the thought hadn't entered
my little boy's head.


© Copyright 2017 dadio. All rights reserved.

Booksie 2017-2018 Short Story Contest

Booksie Popular Content

Other Content by dadio

SEDUCTION 1964

Book / Poetry

DUCK POND.

Short Story / Romance

Popular Tags