Terry Collett

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

Softly I Cry 1940 - Poem by Terry Collett

Voices around me
and I try to sit up
and it isn't easy

I have to balance myself
so that my stumps
are just so
or I'll fall back
on the bed

my hands steady me
in the darkness

I try and feel
just where in the bed I am
searching with my hand
while my other hand
steadies me

I make sure I'm not
too near the edge of the bed
and wait listening

a nurse comes
I hear her clothes swish
did you need something Grace?
she says

I reach out to touch her
a call of nature
I say
is the commode this side
I can't remember or see?

she touches my hand
other side Grace

since my blindness
I lose my direction
I say

wait there a moment
she says
and I hear her go off

I sit balancing
at the side of the bed
staring into darkness
hearing sounds

I sense the need to go more
and begin to panic

here we are Grace
another voice says

and they lift me between them
to the other side of the bed
and arranging my nightdress
they lift me onto the commode
and sit me down
and arrange me so I'm comfortable

hold onto the handles
at the side
a voice says
call us when you want us back
another voice says

I hear them walk off
the shush of the uniforms
and steps of their shoes

I sit and listen
and stare at the darkness
and try and think
of something to distract
my mind from the business at hand

I think of the last time
I saw Clive before he left
to join the army in late 1939
how we kissed
and that last time
we made love in my place
and Sally(my maid) was out
as it was her night off
and it was wonderful
and we lay there afterward
and smoked and talked
about the war and after
and what we would do

now what would he
have said or done had
he not been killed at Dunkirk?
the last time I had sex that was

I muse on that
and feel depressed
and want to see again
and walk and dance

I get choked up
and suddenly
I am aware where I am
and why and quietly
softly I cry.

Topic(s) of this poem: war memories

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, January 19, 2016

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