Terry Collett

Gold Star - 23,124 Points (13/12/1947 / LONDON)

Kissed Him There. - Poem by Terry Collett

Naaman met Amana
as she was on her way
to the shop for her mother.

He was counting out change
in the palm of his hand.

The morning sun
was coming over
the fishmonger shop,
the sky was grey blue.

She spoke
of her parents rowing,
how she never slept
until late,
a series of slaps,
then silence,
she said.

Naaman put the change
in the pocket
of his school trousers;
he saw how tired she looked,
even though her fair hair
was well brushed,
there was a haunted
look about her.

He knew of rows,
slammed doors
at night,
weeping into
the small hours
from his mother’s room.

Amana showed him
the list of shopping
she had to get.

He showed her his.
Doughnuts are warm
from the shop,
we can share one,
he said.

Won’t your mother mind?
she asked.
You can only eat them
once she’ll say,
Naaman replied.

They walked to the shop
across Rockingham Street
and entered in.

The smell of warm bread
and rolls and coffee
being made.

He stood behind her
as she showed
the woman her list.

Amana had on
her school uniform,
the dress well pressed;
the white socks contrasted
with the well blacked shoes.
Her hands were at her sides.
Thumbs down,
soldier like.

He had held that hand
home from school once,
warm, tingling
with the pulse of her.

That time on the bombsite,
collecting chickweed
for the caged bird
his mother kept,
she had kissed
his cheek.
Never washed for a week
(least not that part) .

He could smell
the freshness of soap
about her
as he neared to her.

The woman handed
the shopping over
the counter
and Amana paid in coins
which the woman counted.

Naaman handed
the woman his own list.
Rattled the coins
in his pocket.

Amana waited;
the bag by her feet.
She spoke
of the Annunciation
being taught at school,
the Visitation of an angel.

All beyond Naaman’s grasp
at that time.
He knew of catapults
and swords,
of old battles in fields,
and the Wild West
where he rode
his imaginary horse.

He wanted to kiss
her cheek as she
had kissed his.
Shyness prevented.

She spoke
of the Virgin birth
the nun’s spoke of,
the wise men coming
from afar
following a star.

Naaman liked the stars,
the brightness of them,
the faraway wonder
in a dark sky.

After he had received
his shopping and paid
they walked back out
into the street
and crossed to the slope
that led to the Square.

Then beneath
the morning sun,
bag in hand,
she leaned close,
pressed her lips
to his cheek
and kissed him there.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, July 6, 2013

Poem Edited: Saturday, July 6, 2013

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