Terry Collett

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

Unburdened. - Poem by Terry Collett

It's not the sort of house
You'd want to go to again,
Mildred said, the smell hits
You first, the kind of smell
That climbed in your nose
And didn't leave for days.

She sipped her wine and
Sat down on the couch,
Carefully holding the glass
With her other ringed hand.

There was an unhappy
Feel About the place as
You entered in, a feel
Of neglect. She looked
At the black and white
Mat under the coffee
Table, at the books lying
There: Fashion books, art,
How to Dress for the Occasion.

We found the first child
Drowned in a bath, the hair
Was floating there on the
Water's skin. Someone sort
Of sobbed or maybe they
Didn't, seemed as though
They had. The second child
Was lying beneath a blanket
Where they'd suffocated.

That's where the main smell
Came from. She breathed in
And smelt pine air freshener
That Caser used in his house,
She wanted to smoke, pull
Out a cigarette and light up,
But didn't. The third child,
Baby really, was stiff in a cot.

Unfed, unwashed, a token of
Neglect. Someone pulled back
Curtains, light broke through
Darkness, lit up the sad scene;
Another nearby let out a cry,
The under the breath kind.

She pushed her knees together
As if about to give birth to a
Different tale, her hands played
With the glass, a finger tapped
The side. The mother was found
In a darkened room, wrists slit,
OD'd days back, slouched in a
Chair, dressed in death and black.

Had sleepless nights after, she
Said, ought to be used to, but
You never are, kind of gets
Under the radar. Caser looked
At her sitting there, her hair
Pulled in a bun, her eyes looking
Up at the Picasso print he'd bought.

She had told him at last. She had
Unburdened herself of the one
Last thing that she couldn't tell
Him at the psychiatric sessions
They'd had at his in town clinic.

Never did like Picasso, she said,
Turning away, putting down the
Glass, as of nothing more to say.

Caser watched her as she got up,
Brushed down her dress, sighed
And walked down the hall, left
His apartment, victim of the Fall.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, May 28, 2012

Poem Edited: Wednesday, May 30, 2012

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