Terry Collett

Gold Star - 23,271 Points (13/12/1947 / LONDON)

No Cissy 1955 - Poem by Terry Collett

There's something in my eye
Helen said
can you have a look Benny?

we were walking up Meadow Row
towards the bomb site

stop walking then
I said
and let me see

so she stopped
and put down her doll
Battered Betty
and she closed her eyes

I can't see if you
shut your eyes
I said

so she opened her eyes
and I said
which one is it?

the left one
she said

so I opened up
her eyelids wide
as I could
her hands were holding
my wrist and hand

can you see anything?
she said

not yet only an eyeball
I said

her hands were holding
my wrist and hand tightly
her other eye
was staring at me

maybe it's dust
from the bomb site
I said

can you see it?

no not yet
I said
moving her eyelid
higher and lower
gazing into her eye intently

think I see it
I said

what is it?

bit of grit I think
I said

can you get it out?
she said

sure I'll try
I said

I reached for an handkerchief
from my jean's pocket

what are you doing?
she said

looking for my handkerchief
I said

what for?

to get the grit out
I let go of her eyelids
and reach out
my handkerchief
and screwed up one end
into a point

she studied me anxiously
will it hurt?

no it'll be ok
I said

she didn't seem convinced
and stared at me
her hands were hanging
in mid air waiting
to clutch my hand again

so I opened up
her left eyelids again
with one hand
and with the other
tried to ease out
the tiny bit of grit
in the lower area
of her eye

her hands
clutched mine desperately
have you got it?

not yet
stay still
I said

she was kind of moving
like someone anxious to pee

I cornered the speck of grit
and slowly eased it
onto the handkerchief
and out of her eye
and wiped it
on my jeans

is it out?

yes it's out

really out?

yes really out

she closed
and opened her eye
seems all right now
she said
rubbing her eye

I put my handkerchief away
and stared at her
that ok?
I said

she nodded and smiled
yes it's better
she said

right lets go on
the bomb site
and look for stones
for my catapult
I said

she said
and picked up her doll
and we went down Arch Street
and onto the bomb site
to look for stones

you're my hero
she said
clutching her doll
with one hand
and holding my hand
with the other

I thought
hope the boys don't see
her holding my hand
or they'll think me a cissy

then she paused
by a bombed out house wall
and kissed me.

Topic(s) of this poem: childhood

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, December 12, 2015

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