Terry Collett

Gold Star - 23,103 Points (13/12/1947 / LONDON)

Battered Betty And Such. - Poem by Terry Collett

Mum says she can't
afford for me
to have a hula hoop
Helen says

as I meet her
by Baldy's shop
early Saturday morning
but I have had a go

on my friend's
not that I'm
very good at it
she says

but it would have been
good to have had my own
o come on
I say

it's a hoop of plastic
and you put it
around your waist
and do a wiggle

of your body
and it goes round
continuously around
your waist

if you're lucky
I say
that's nothing
to mope about

she stands
by the side
of the shop
looking up towards

the railway bridge
in Rockingham Street
but I did like
having a go

she mutters
I'd like to ride a horse
like the Lone ranger
but I wouldn't want

to own a horse
I say
where'd I put it
if I did?

I'd love a horse
she says
white one
with a long

hairy tail
and she dreams
for a moment or two
about the horse

but you're right
she says
where to put it?
we walk down towards

the post office
to post a letter
of her father's
and then walk along

the Newington Causeway
what colour horse
would you like?
Helen asks

black shiny black
I say
she talks of her brother
dropping her doll

Battered Betty
and an arm
coming off
and how her dad

managed to
fix it again
but it was
back to front

and he had
to take it off
and put it
the right way around

and she's
at home resting
Helen says
resting after

the operation
and we come to
the New Kent Road
and walk along

to the Trocadero cinema
and pay out money
for the morning matinee
and we sit

half way back
ready to watch
the cartoon
and black and white

Batman film
then the big feature film
which I hope
won't be

a cowboy film
with kissing in it
which really
gets my goat

and Helen sits
next to me
waiting for the lights
to go out

still talking
about her doll
and the arm
and one eye

I watch the screen
not wanting to know.

Topic(s) of this poem: childhood

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, March 29, 2015

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