Terry Collett

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

The Bombed Out Butcher's Shop. - Poem by Terry Collett

On the third day
of the holidays
you met Janice

half way up Bath Terrace
at the entrance to the flats
where she lived with her gran

she was dressed in her red beret
yellow flowered cotton dress
white socks and brown sandals

she smiled when she saw you
and said
feared you might not show

I told you I'd be here
you said
she looked at you

and said
I know
but some people say things

but don't show
I'm not some people
if I say I'll be here

I'll be here
you said
glad you're here

she said
Gran doesn't like me
going out alone

she says there are strange men
out there who take kids off
and do things to them

and murder them
you said

I read about that boy
they found murdered
near here

she looked concerned
don't worry
you're with me

my mum told me
where to kick them
if they try anything on

Janice said as you both
walked up to the top

of the terrace
to Harper Road
where're we going?

she asked
a bombed out
butcher's shop

you replied
isn't that dangerous?
she asked

not if we're careful
where we tread
you said

isn't that breaking
and entering?
she asked

no we don't break in
you said
we walk in

the back gate
it's not locked

she said
looking concerned
we won't get into trouble

will we? Gran said
she'd tan my backside
if I got into trouble

would I get you into trouble?
you asked
guess not

she said softly
you crossed
Harper Road

and went round the back
of the bombed out
butcher's shop

and opened the gate
and entered
into an empty yard

you shut the gate
after you
and she stood gaping

at the back of the shop
you showed her
the large walk in freezer

where meat had once
been kept
now empty

smelling of piss
and damp
what if you got locked in?

she said
the lock's busted
you said

oh I see
she replied
her eyes large

and her mouth open
in wonder
you took her into

the shop now empty
apart from a large table
with a marble top

where meat
had once been cut
and chopped up

it stinks
she said
yes tramps get in

sometime and shelter
for the night
are they here now?

she asked nervously
no they go off
in the day

you said
giving her
a smile

you took her up
the creaking stairs
to the upper landing

where the sky
shone through the roof
where a bomb

had fallen in
she said

how weird
one of the rooms
had an old bed frame

pushed in a corner
and the roof
was still there

except where a few tiles
had gone
someone slept there once

she said
and now
they're probably dead

you took her hand
and walked her
to the window

and looked out
on Harper Road
people would have looked out

of this window too
you said
sad isn't it

she said
and you sensed
her lay

on your shoulder
her fair haired
red bereted head.

Comments about The Bombed Out Butcher's Shop. by Terry Collett

  • (8/24/2012 5:56:00 AM)

    Like this, the narrative flow and the structure, good poem (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, August 24, 2012

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