Terry Collett

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

Perfume Left Behind 1963 - Poem by Terry Collett

Mary Moran can I see you
a minute please?
Sister Agnes said

Mary nodded and followed
the nun along the school corridor
walked past the statue
of the Virgin Mary
(no relation)
and into a small office
where the nun
closed the door after them

sit down
the nun said

Mary sat down
crossed her legs
pulled the hem
of her school skirt
over her knees
and looked at the nun blankly

do you know why
you are here?

you asked me to come
Mary replied
fingering
(she hoped secretly)
the rim of her school knickers
into a more comfortable place
unmoving face

the nun sighed
and sat at a desk
and put her hands
into a prayer mode
rudeness and disobedience
the nun said
that's why you're here

Mary looked past the nun
at the Crucified on the wall behind
dark brown wood
suntanned figure
dark nails holding
the hands and feet in place

and rumours of you
spreading rumours
about Sister Lucy
and Father Joseph

what rumour is that?
Mary said
leaving the Crucified
and gazing at the nun

you know
the nun said

how can I know
if you don't tell me
Mary said

the nun slapped the desk top
and said
dont try it on with me young lady
I'm not to be played with

(Mary hoped the nun wouldn't
contact her parents
her da was not in the mood
for bad news right now
and last time the nuns contacted
them about her
he tanned her behind
with his big hand
but that was years ago now
and well she was 14 now
and the hag seemed happy
just to moan so)

rudeness and disobedience?
Mary said
me being such?

the nun nodded her black
and white covered head
yes you Moran
and the spreading
of the rumours

Mary looked at the Crucified again
he hadn't moved
her fingers had sorted
the knickers rim out
to comfortableness

I'm sorry
Mary said
it's my menstrual mood swings
it gets to me and after
I feel so ashamed that I kneel down
in front of the statue
of St Therese and ask
for forgiveness so I do

the nun sat steely faced
her thin fingers joined
forming a kind of church structure

is that so?
the nun said

Mary nodded

then you will see Father Joseph
and confess to him
and see what he says about it
Sister Agnes said
eyeing Mary as she stood
and walked from the room
swaying her small behind

and muttered to herself
there's none so blind
as those that want to be blind
and the girl had gone
an odd smell of perfume
being left behind.

Topic(s) of this poem: school


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, January 13, 2016



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