Terry Collett

Gold Star - 22,605 Points (13/12/1947 / LONDON)

Grace's Visitors 1940 - Poem by Terry Collett

I am in a wheelchair on grass
outside the hospital

I hear birds sing and distant traffic
I stare into the darkness
trying to fathom my blindness

my toes feel itchy even though
my legs have gone
and the stumps well bandaged

hello Grace
a voice says from my right side

Anthony?
I say
is it you?

yes Grace it is
he says

I sense him near me
I reach out to touch him
he takes my hand

Donald said you were coming
I say

did he?
Anthony says

I hear someone else come
and place something
on the grass nearby

this is Philip
Anthony says

hello
a voice says
a hand take my mine and shakes it
how are you?
Philip says

rather lost
I say

any news about your eyes?
Anthony asks

they think I will always be blind
I say

o so sorry
Anthony says

I hear them sit down
and whisper things I cannot fathom

look Grace I'll be honest with you
if Donald told you
I was thinking of marrying you
then he got the wrong end
of the stick
Anthony says

I look toward the voice
and stare at darkness

I see but as you yourself
never told me about marriage
then it doesn't matter
I say
(Donald said Anthony said
he was going to ask
but I say nothing)
who would want
a blind legless woman
for wife anyway?
I say more bitterly
than I intended

it's not that
Anthony says
it would be out of pity not love
he says
I mean not the love
necessary to handle such
he adds

Clive may have done
but he's dead
I say
killed at Dunkirk

there is silence
I look away from the voice
and look downward

maybe you will find
that someone
Anthony says
after a few moments of silence

maybe I will
I say

a hand touches mine
I'm sure you will
Philip's voice says

and are you the expert
on finding matches
for blind legless women?
I say coldly

look Grace I must go
make a telephone call
Anthony says
and he goes off

it is quiet for a moment or two
how would you like
to go out for a meal somewhere?
Philip says to my left

like this?

no in a dress
and with make up
he says

who would want me
in their restaurant like this?
I say

I know a place where
we would be welcome
he says softly

and you would want me
like this there?

have you a dress and make up?
he asks

no my house was bombed
I lost everything including
legs and sight
I say with a sigh

maybe I can buy you a dress and clothes
if you tell me your size?

I have no coupons
everything has gone
I say

I can arrange that
I work for the Foreign Office
he says

why would you want to?
I say

I admire your courage
he says

I look toward the voice
I tell him my size and other things
then sit quiet looking
into the darkness again

Anthony returns and sits and says
look sorry about the short visit
but I've got an urgent message
must go
he says and he kisses my cheek
and goes again

I'll do what I can Philip says
and he kisses my hand and goes

I am left alone
with bird song
and itchy toes
which are not there
and I sit
and sigh and stare.

Topic(s) of this poem: woman


Comments about Grace's Visitors 1940 by Terry Collett

  • Kim Barney (4/26/2016 7:19:00 AM)


    Like Marianne, I was a WW2 baby and was fascinated by this story. All of your poems that I have read so far have pulled me in from the start and not let me go. (Report) Reply

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  • Pamela Sinicrope (1/20/2016 11:33:00 PM)


    I agree with Marianne. You captured ALL of my attention with your story about this brave woman who lost her legs and her vision in a bombing in her home. The dialogue from the visitors intrigued me. Were they real...? Or were these snippets of conversation of men who visited her bedside over time and she is now mulling it over as she sits in her wheelchair in the grass. This was really cool writing. Thanks! (Report) Reply

    Terry Collett Terry Collett (3/13/2016 1:26:00 AM)

    Thank you, Pamela.

  • Marianne Reninger (1/9/2016 8:28:00 PM)


    Wow! You painted me a picture, a short story, where I became invested in the characters in a few short lines. I am a WWII baby, and a sucker for stories from that era. I'm a painter, and you are too with words...Marianne Larsen Reninger ps. read my stuff here too.... (Report) Reply

    Terry Collett Terry Collett (3/13/2016 1:26:00 AM)

    Thank you, Marianne

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 9, 2016

Poem Edited: Saturday, January 9, 2016


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