Terry Collett

Gold Star - 22,823 Points (13/12/1947 / LONDON)

Has And Can 1916 - Poem by Terry Collett

If she hadn't
seen George
with her own eyes
she would not
have thought him
the same man.

The young man
she had seen in the car
at the front of the house
seemed a broken man,
shaking in limbs,
eyes wide and dull,
hair unkempt
and cut short,
uttering words almost
incomprehensible.

She had been there
behind Dudman the butler
and Lady Elmore,
looking past them,
seeing and yet unbelieving,
unable to help
until at the last moment
when she helped Dudman
and Lady Elmore
walk him up the steps
to the house
and to his room.

He had not
looked at her,
even when
she was right
beside him,
holding his arm,
the same arm
which once held her
and squeezed her
when he was home
on leave last time.

Now as she washes dishes
in the kitchen sink,
hands in suds,
her thoughts are on him,
his look,
his hands shaking,
his words rambling.

Mrs Gripe the cook
talks behind her,
her words lost
across the space,
like a noise
in the distance.

Last time George
was here he and she
made love in his bed
at night if he
wished her to
and she would sneak
along and into
his warm cosy bed
away from her
rattling bed in the attic
with Susie
the other maid.

Now what?
she muses,
scrubbing the dishes,
hands soaked,
fingers reddening.

As she helped
bring him upstairs
her eyes were filled
with tears,
as she aided him
into his bed
she wanted
to climb in
with him
and hold him
and love him,
but she left with Dudman
leaving Lady Elmore
alone with him.

A broken man,
she muses,
war has done
what it has
and can.

Topic(s) of this poem: war memories


Comments about Has And Can 1916 by Terry Collett

  • Marianne Reninger (1/30/2016 7:45:00 AM)


    another pictoral winner, Terry. You've created such a vision of war, with few words in one small domestic scene. Bravo! Marianne Larsen Reninger (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 30, 2016



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