UNCERTAIN DESPAIR.

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

A BOY AND GIRL IN LONDON IN 1950S

Lydia follows her big sister
out of the flat;
she is tall
and has a blonde
explosion of hair,
eye-shadow so thick
she appears clown like.

She walks off
with her tight-dressed
backside swinging away.

I watch her go,
fascinated how
she manages to balance
on such high heeled shoes.

Be glad
when she leaves home,
maybe then
I get to have
my bed back,
Lydia says.

How does she balance
in those shoes?

Practise,
she's worn them
since she could walk,
Dad says.

Her big sister, Gloria,
goes down the slope
and out of sight.

Where we going?
I ask.

You decide.

What about
taking a train
to Peckham Rye?

Have to get some money;
I'll scrounge off Mum.

So she goes indoors
and I stand outside
the door
looking out
at the Square,
hearing voices
from within.

An old guy walks past
with his Boxer dog,
he nods to me
as he passes.

Lydia's mother
comes to the door
with Lydia behind her.

Think I have loads of money?
Think I can afford
to let her go here
and there
just on a whim?

No, I have money,
my old man gave it me
for polishing his shoes,
not that they needed polishing,
but he likes them
real bright brown.

I don't give a damn
where you get
your money from,
but I haven't money
to waste
on a train journey
for her.

I can pay.

You?

Sure, I have enough.

She is silent
(miracles happen).

She stares at me
with her beady eyes.

If you are paying,
then she can go,
but no monkey business,
no getting in people’s way.

She walks indoors
and leaves Lydia
standing there wide-eyed
and open mouthed.

I can go?

Sure you can,
but no monkey business,
whatever that means.

No climbing trees,
I guess.

We set off together
through the Square
and down the slope,
she looking back,
I taking in
her thinness
and lank hair,
and that look
of uncertain
despair.


Submitted: December 08, 2014

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