AT HELEN'S FOR TEA. | By: Terry Collett | | Category: Poem - Love Bookmark and Share



After school
Helen’s mother took you home to tea
and she was wheeling

the big pram along the pavement
with you on one side
and Helen on the other

and she said
hold onto the pram
while we cross the roads

I don’t want anything
to happen to you
and as you crossed

the busy roads
you kept glancing over
at Helen with her plaited hair

parted in the middle
and her thin wired glasses
and her raincoat

buttoned tight
against the wind
and her small hand

clutching the pram handle tightly
and beside you
Helen’s mother

short and stocky
pushing and puffing
and her eyes dark as night

and kind at the same time
and when you reached their home
and went inside

and she took off your coat
you went with Helen
into the sitting room

with a coal fire blazing
and the smell
of drying clothes

and past dinners
and Helen said
do you want to see my dolls

and the doll’s house
my daddy made
out of boxwood

with lights you can turn off and on?
sure ok
you said

and you followed her
into her bedroom
where her toys and dolls

were laid up along the wall
next to her bed
and she took up a doll

and held her out to you
and said
this is my favourite

this is Jenny
and you said
hi Jenny how you doing?

and Helen smiled
her slightly goofy smile
and you liked that

her smile
and her eyes large as duck eggs
behind the thick lens

and she handed the doll
to you to hold
and you held the doll

and kissed the head
and hugged it close
thinking glad the other boys

can’t see me now
here with this girl
and kissing and holding

the darn doll
out of some small boy love
and shyness

and you know
they’d laugh out loud
and point their tough boy fingers

and you’re glad
they aren’t there
just Helen

and her little girl love and kindness
against their rough ways
and small boy toughness.

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