Terry Collett

Gold Star - 23,291 Points (13/12/1947 / LONDON)

Janice And You And The Evening Stars - Poem by Terry Collett

You sat on the edge
of the low wall
in Rockingham Street
opposite Meadow Row

Janice sat beside you
in her red beret
and black coat
buttoned up

to her throat
against the evening chill
and you
in your cowboy hat

and old coat
with your 6 shooter
(capped gun)
in the inside pocket

the sky is thick with stars
Janice said
looking upward
like God threw small diamonds

into the black expanse
reminds me of the time
You said
when I was with my old man

outside Guy's Hospital
and he left me outside
with my sister
while he went in

to see my mother
who was about to have babies
and I looked up
at the sky that evening

and it was like that
and it seemed
so big and wide
and I remember thinking

how I could get lost there
if I were a spaceman
looking out
of the spaceship window

at the stars
and moon and such
I could have been with you
Janice said

and have got you
food and drink for the voyage
I don't know
You said

girls don't get to go
on space voyages do they?
I guess not
she said sighing

but maybe
I could be the first to go
she added smiling
sure you could

but not with your red beret
You said
she laughed
and looked up

Meadow Row
at the street lamps
and the glow they made
on the pavements

and narrow road
and she pointed
at some kids
outside the public house

half way up the road
and said
Gran wouldn't leave me
outside a pub like that

while she went drinking
you gazed up the road
and saw the kids outside
one in a pram

one sitting
on the low wall
eating out
of a packet of chips

my mother said
it happened a lot
in her days
when she was a kid

but she never was
You said
Janice tucked her hands
under her armpits

to keep them warm
against the evening cold
I better go
she said

Gran will wonder
where I am
You said

I'll walk you back
and so you both
got off the wall
and walked up

Rockingham Street
to where she lived
with her gran
in an upstairs flat

and she blew you
a kiss from the balcony
and that
was pretty much that.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, February 4, 2013

Poem Edited: Monday, February 4, 2013

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