Terry Collett

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

Never Tell Mother. - Poem by Terry Collett

Benedict turned the page
of the Dostoyevsky novel.

His brother puked in the bidet,
too much cheap wine,
Benedict thought,
but he’ll be fine.

He immersed himself deeper
into the Russian world
of murder and fear
and dark corners.

Crime and Punishment
was one good tale all right.
Even the book cover held
the attention, he thought,
turning it briefly over.

His brother’s moans
interrupted the puking.
Benedict asked an
are you all right?
There was a groan
of response.

Benedict recalled the time
he had been in that condition
in Yugoslavia the year before,
same cause: too much
cheap wine.
And that beautiful guide
came to his room
to see how he was
and sat on his bed
and all he could think of
was when would
the puking end.

No thought at all
of her presence there,
her body so close,
her perfume making him
more nauseous.

She was Croatian,
he thought, pausing at the page
of the Dostoyevskian novel.

And that waitress
he and his brother had liked
in the restaurant
at the Yugoslavian hotel.

Fanny. Yes, that was the name.
Got no where though.
Just the luck of the draw.

His brother returned
from the bathroom
and flopped on the bed.

The puking over maybe,
Benedict thought
and his brother hoped,
pale of complexion,
perspiration on brow.

Outside the window
the Parisian streets
echoed with life:
Cars, coaches, buses,
people, natives, tourists,
males and females.

Tomorrow they’d be out
on the streets again.
Sit in restaurants where
the famous once sat
over coffee or beer:
Hemmingway, Sartre,
Picasso, Henry Miller
and the others.

Art thrived here.
Ideas born
from philosophic minds.

Benedict book marked
the page and closed
the book and put it aside.

Some one laughed outside
in the street, another sang,
voices of ghostly singers
of the past, breathed
from the walls.

His brother returned
to the bathroom,
more puking.
Benedict thought:
poor brother.
Of course, he mused,
gazing at the Parisian
night sky, they’d never
tell their mother.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, June 13, 2013

Poem Edited: Thursday, June 13, 2013


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