Terry Collett

Gold Star - 22,092 Points (13/12/1947 / LONDON)

Unexpected Father. - Poem by Terry Collett

Your mother
had brought Helen

home for tea after school
and she had held on

to the handle
of the pram

your mother pushed
and you walked

along side
thinking of whether

to show her
your toy soldiers

and cowboys and Indians
and the guns

that fired
loud banging caps

or whether to just sit
and watch the TV

and eat your tea
and show her nothing

but once you got home
and your mother went off

to the kitchen to prepare
the tea stuff and such

Helen looked at you
and shyly smiled

and said
Can I see your sister's dolls

and pram
and does she have

a doll's house
I could play with?

you dismissed the idea
of showing her

the guns that fired caps
or your toy soldier collection

and took her
into the room

where you kept the toys
and pointed to

your sister's dolls
and the pram

and said
Take care

my sister doesn't like
people messing

with her stuff
and Helen nodded

and picked up a doll
and held it to her chest

and rocked it
to and fro

and walked up and down
murmuring there there sounds

that echoed softly
around the room

Where's your sister?
Helen asked

will she mind me
rocking the baby to sleep?

Guess not
you replied

and stood watching her
as she walked

and talked to the doll
in an undertone

and you stood there
hands in pockets

like a father
of an unexpected child

wondering what to say
or do and taking in

her thick lens glasses
and her eyes

seemingly enlarged
focusing on the doll

and the way her head
moved from side to side

so that her plaited hair
went from side to side

and up and down
and she said softly

and suddenly
We may have a baby like this

one day and you had better
say something more

than you are now
or I'll think

you didn't want it
and off she walked

up and down the room
and hoped your mother

would come soon
and save you from the fate

of being the father
of a doll with a dodgy eye

and a painted smile
but having a tender spot

for Helen
all the while.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, May 21, 2012



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