BEEDING 1965 | By: Terry Collett | | Category: Poem - Friendship Bookmark and Share


Tilly's mother
was out in the garden
hanging washing;
she'd let me in reluctantly,
and said Tilly
was changing the bedding,
and would be down soon.

I looked about the room
while I waited;
the furniture was old,
and photographs
were on most surfaces
old and new ones,
a photograph of Tilly
as a young girl,
a family group in some field,
no one smiled,
all looked at the camera
with distrust.

I could see Tilly's mother
walk by the window
with a basket
of damp clothes,
then she hung underclothes
with wooden pegs,
and I wondered
whose they were,
maybe the old girl's
as they were not Tilly's kind
from my memory.

The sky was blue,
and clouds drifted by.

Been waiting long?
Tilly said,
standing by the door.

About a week or so,
I said.

She laughed,
liar how long?

A few minutes,
your mum let me in
with a face of granite,
I said.

Tilly came and sat
next to me on the sofa,
and kissed me on the lips.

Just changed the bedding,
she said,
if you had come earlier
you could have helped me.

I guess I could,
I said,
could have maybe done
other things too.

She smiled,
it's your mind,
I meant bedding,
Tilly said.

So did I,
I said.

What are you two up?
to her mother said,
coming into the room
and staring at us.

Just sitting and talking,
Tilly said,
done the bedding.

Her mother looked at me,
want a cup of tea?
She said.

Yes, that'd be good,
I said.
Off you go then Tilly,
her mother said,
and Tilly
made the tea instead.

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