Terry Collett

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

That Great Out Of Doors - Poem by Terry Collett

Summer recess had come
and she sat with you
out in the field
over looking her house

and the railway
was not far off
where the occasional train
puffed by sending

a sprouting of white smoke
as it went by
and she looked at it passing
and spoke of after school days

when she would begin
her adult life and settle down
and have children
but you were thinking

of a train trip with your parents
years before
to some seaside place
and you watched

the scenery go by
and the steam go by
the window
and the smell

and the sight excited you
and stuck itself
inside your head
and Judith said

what do you think?
and you said
about what?
and she said

about children's names?
what names
would you choose?
your brain struggled

to the surface
and whirled through
a list of names
that came to mind

boy or girl?
you asked
she sighed

haven't you been
listening to me?
sorry got distracted
by the train smoke

had a Proustian moment
you said
a what?
she said

a Proustian moment
you replied
what the heck is that?
she said

pulling her skirt
over her knees
where it had risen up
as she moved

Marcel Proust wrote
that eating a certain cake
took him back
to a certain moment

of his life
but you
haven't been eating cake
Judith said

her hand rested
on her knees
her eyes focusing on you
no it's just an example

you said
about how things
can remind you
of other things

or places or times
do you recall
the first time we kissed?
she asked

you said
of course I do
it was near Christmas

and we were carol singing
and it was dark
and the moon was out
and the stars were bright

and your lips pressed
onto mine
ok ok
she said laughing

at least you remember
and as she moved forward
the buttons
of her white blouse

parted briefly
to reveal a hint
of fleshy breasts
so what names

do you like?
she asked
none come to mind
you said

she shook her head
what about Rachel or David?
she said

you said
nice religious names
although David
brings to mind

a kid with a catapult
and a girl I once knew
with buckteeth who smelt
of old socks

she looked skywards
and sighed
and lay back
on to the grass

and you lay beside her
both of you
gazing up
at the expanse

of blue and white
her hand reaching out
for yours
in that one moment

of life
in the great
out of doors.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, June 23, 2013

Poem Edited: Friday, July 26, 2013

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