Terry Collett


Fay and You and Promised Doughnuts.


You walked Fay
to your new school
off Tower Bridge Road
one Saturday morn

she in her blue
cardigan and dress
you in jeans and shirt
and sleeveless jumper

traffic racing by
noisy exuding
smoke and pollution
it's a long way

Fay said
do you walk it
twice a day?
no my mother

gives me fare money
but sometimes
I buy doughnuts
and walk

I wouldn't dare
she said
my daddy'd want
to see the bus tickets

as proof and if he knew
I'd bought doughnuts
instead he'd spank me
and make me walk

thereafter
they're lovely doughnuts though
you said
you can have them warm

coated in sugar
and filled with jam
and when they enter
your stomach

on a cold morning
it's heaven
she fiddled
with her fingers

as she walked along
as if knitting
an invisible scarf
I don't think

I've had one
for ages
she said
we can buy one

on the walk back
if you like
you said
I haven't any money

she said
I have
you said
money for chores

I did
you added
she smiled
and walked on

and when you got
to your new school
you showed her
the entrance

and the high walls
and the top
of the high
depressing building

she stood beside you
and stared and said
her school was run
by nuns

who were very strict
her father insisted
she went there
because they were Catholics

and he wanted her
to have a good education
and not mix
with the riffraff

and that he wanted to know
each day how she got on
(if he was home
and not away

on business)
and you watched her
as she spoke
her fingers

nervously moving
her eyes scanning
the school
her lips

opening and closing
the toes
of her black shoes touching
as he stood

her white ankle socks
just so
no marks or holes
who chose

this school for you?
she asked
turning towards you
her eyes watery

my mother said it was best
being an all boys school
keep me out of mischief
strict teachers

the cane and all
oh
she said
have you been caned?

not so far
you replied
O'Brien bribed the prefect
with cigarettes

to get us off
oh
she said
putting fingers

to her lips
don't you feel guilty?
about what?
bribing the prefect

and escaping punishment
for wrongdoing
no
you said

they were O'Brien's cigarettes
not mine
she looked bewildered
and deep in thought

and you both walked back
towards home
you thinking of the doughnuts to buy
on the way

she musing
on what you'd said
and other thoughts
deeper inside her head.

Submitted: Thursday, January 10, 2013

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Comments about this poem (Fay and You and Promised Doughnuts. by Terry Collett )

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  • Rookie Owain Glyn (1/10/2013 2:06:00 AM)

    You have captured the simple, yet very complicated, conversations that we, as adults, have long forgotten that we ever had! loved it. (Report) Reply

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