Treasure Island

Terry Collett

Seeing the X Film One Sunday.

It was late
one Sunday afternoon
when you must have been
about 11 or 12

just before tea
and Sunday bath
and your old man said
dress up in your best

long trousers and blazer
and shirt and tie
I’m taking you
to the cinema

to see an X film
an X film?
you said
yes Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

he said
but you have to be 16
to get into see that
you said

I know but if we get you
all smartened up you may pass
he said
and so you put on

your best blazer
and long trousers
and white shirt
and your old man

did up your tie
in the Windsor Knot
he was good at
and off you went

to the cinema
on the New Kent Road
and he went to the kiosk
and bought two tickets

and the old dame
behind the glass panel
looked at you
but said nothing

and gave him
the two tickets
and you followed him
to the twin doors

that led into the cinema
and the usherette
looked at you
and said to your old man

follow me
and you followed her
as she showed the way
to your seats

with her torch shining
and you went down the aisle
and along the row of seat
to where her torch settled

and pulled down the seats
and sat down
there was a cartoon on
loud and colourful

and people around you
were laughing
and you looked up
at the screen

then at your old man
and he was gazing
at the screen
like some worshipper

taking in the colour
and noise
and you settled back
in your seat trying to look

taller and adult
and laughed
when the others laughed
and then came

the intermission
before the big feature film
and he said
do you want an ice cream?

yes please
you said and off he went
to the ice cream girl at the front
with her tray of ice-cream

and sweets etc
and you looked about you
sitting up straight
to make yourself look older

and gazed at your old man
at the front
then at your shoes
then at the people

in front of you
then he came back
and gave you
the ice cream tub

and wooden spoon
then he sat down with his
then the lights
went out again

and the film began
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
and you sat there
thinking of what O’Brien

would say at school next day
when you told him
you’d got into see an X film
o yeah he’d say

I bet you did
pull then other leg
it’s got bells on
but it didn’t matter

what O’Brien thought
or said
you were there
in the dark

watching the X film
at 12 years old
o what a laugh
you were there

watching it
not at home
getting ready for bed
after the Sunday bath.

Submitted: Saturday, March 30, 2013

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