Terry Collett

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

Tea With Sophia 1969 - Poem by Terry Collett

Sophia's parents' invitation to tea
had been what I thought
it might be

an interrogation into my life
and style and earnings
and moral fitness

minus the bright lights
in the eyes
and the torture tools
and rubber truncheon
(although I am sure Sophia
would have found a use
for that in foreplay)

when I knocked
her father answered the door
stiff as a corpse
eyes on me
his hands at his sides
his Polish English
understandable but stiff

he said

I said
thank you
and looked at him
then tried to look past him
but he was wider than I thought
and I saw his shoulder

Sophia came beside her father
and smiled nervously
she said

I replied

jesteś tu
her mother said
behind her daughter

English Mama
her father said to his wife
giving her the hard stare

we went into the lounge
and he said sit down
so I sat down on the sofa
and Sophia sat next to me
her father sat in his armchair
and his wife stood gazing at me
as if I was a puppy
who had walked in with wet paws

you get tea now
he said
Sophia help your mama

Sophia rose up and went
with her mother leaving me
to my fate

he stared at me
his eyes icy
what are your intentions
with regards to Sophia?
he said
his Polish English was heavy

I unscrambled the words
good intentions
I said
(pushing our sex in his bed
with her that time
out of my head)
I'm Catholic and I work hard
I added

he looked past me
as if another waited behind me
for instructions
he said then added

(to get her in bed again
as soon as possible
would not have applied
so I said nothing)
I just frowned

how are your prospects?
he said slower
as if he were talking
to an imbecile

I said
well I can make the grade
and become a full nurse
I added

his face remained still
he said

qualified nurse
I said

he moved his head
as if his neck
had become stiff

and how are you in regards
to sexual relations? he asked

I said

he said
I mean how to do you
think about sex after marriage
as the Church teaches?

(I pushed any image
of Sophia naked and on his bed
from my mind)
sure after marriage sex is good
I said

he smiled

I smiled

his wife and Sophia
brought in plates of food
and teapot and cups
and saucers and sugar
and milk and laid it all
on the table

all done
the wife said in Polish
(Sophia transalted it in my ear)

good good
he said
nodding his head

his wife looked at me
daring me to touch
any food or drink

cieszyć się
his wife said
(enjoy Sophia said)

I got up and took a plate
and filled my plate with food
and Sophia poured me tea
with milk and sugar

I sat on the sofa
beside her
sensing her knee
touch mine
then her thigh
(all hopefully far
from her father's eye) .

Topic(s) of this poem: teenage

Comments about Tea With Sophia 1969 by Terry Collett

  • Marianne Reninger (1/10/2016 6:56:00 AM)

    Oh, I chuckled and smiled throughout the whole poem. This is the way my Mother (who's now 94) and my sister, Sonja, interviewed my now 15 years married son-in-law, over Danish appliskiver pancakes and bacon causing him to sweat profusely and never forget it! Loved it! Marianne Larsen Reninger (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, January 10, 2016

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