Terry Collett

Gold Star - 23,271 Points (13/12/1947 / LONDON)

Blanket Bath 1940 - Poem by Terry Collett

I want a bath
but nurse Kavel says
sorry Grace the stumps
of your amputated legs

are not ready yet
to be immersed in water
but I will blanket bath you
so I lay there on the bed

and wait hearing sounds
from around the hospital ward
my eyes seeing nothing
but emptiness and I think

of that time Clive and I
danced at the ballroom
and he said I was good
and we sat down afterward

and he bought us both drinks
and he said you dance like an angel
and we kissed and afterward
when he walked me home

we stood outside my house
and there was moonlight and stars
and I said
do you want to come in?

and he did and we made love
and he stayed until early morning
and crept out
before Sally my maid
came in and saw us

poor Sally killed in the bombed house
that night when the bomb fell
and I lost my sight and legs
I am back

the nurse says
and I feel her pull back
the blankets and sheet
and she and another nurse

move me and place a towel
under me and together
undress me and I lay back
in darkness and nude

and feeling helpless and alone
and I feel a warm cloth
move over me
and soap and water

and the nurses talk
between themselves
about the bombing
the night before

and I think of Clive
killed at Dunkirk
and wonder if Philip
will come and take me

out to dinner some place
and then a warm cloth
washes me
over my face.

Topic(s) of this poem: war memories

Comments about Blanket Bath 1940 by Terry Collett

  • Marianne Reninger (1/13/2016 10:11:00 AM)

    Who is Grace? I have read two poems about her from you and she has to be a real person; at least, real to me in my poet's mind...I wasn't born yet in 1940, but later years, in Denmark, when the liberation came, I was a tiny girl, waving my hands at the departing Germans, not feeling any bombs, just the sadness of one lost uncle to a concentration camp., Also feeling my mother and father's relief that the war was over. Now it was time to try and replenish the empty cupboard and maybe ice cream for me again! Marianne Larsen Reninger (Report) Reply

    Terry Collett (1/26/2016 1:59:00 AM)

    Thank you for reading & comments, Marianne. Although Grace is fictitious she is real to me as I write.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, January 13, 2016

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