Terry Collett


Polishing the Silver.


Susie polishes the silver.
She hates polishing the
forks, the bits in between,
the stink of the cleanser.

She'd rather be in bed
with Polly in the attic.
Holding her close, feeling
her body next to hers.

The cold weather offers
a good excuse. Polly'd
say, get off me you queer
git, otherwise. She rubs

the cloth over the prongs,
the stink making her feel
nauseous. Dudman, the
butler will be along soon.

He'll snoop up close to her,
look over her shoulder;
press his body next to hers.
Maids are as nothing, he

often said, pressing his
finger into her back, or
pinching her arse. She holds
her breath as long as she

can; the stink is getting to her.
She thinks back to the night
before, Polly's nightgown
against her flesh, her smell

invading her nose, spooning
close. She recalls the moon
in the skylight, captured like
a painting, the stars spread

like vomit on a dark cloth.
Mrs Gripe the cook called her
a lazy cow over breakfast,
the fat bitch staring at her

with her cow like eyes. She
rubs between prongs, eases
along the handle. She'd love to
shove the fork into Dudman's

arse; push it in with all her
might. Soon the bell would
ring, someone would want
morning tea upstairs. She

breathes out, puts down
the fork, picks out a spoon
and begins the cleaning again,
thinking of Polly, her fingers

caressing the spoon's end,
imagining fingering along
Polly's waist, moving her
thumb into the indentation,

sensing her body move, that
weird overriding sensation.

Submitted: Saturday, January 05, 2013

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