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Jul 2016
Go where?
Lydia's mother said

Lydia said

you can't go to Southend
on your own

I'm not going
on my own
I'm going with Benny

her mother
stared at her
Go with Benny?
You're both too young
to go to ****** Southend
what put that thought
into your mind?
Her mother said

we talked about it
when we were
at King's Cross station

who is we?
The mother said

Benny and me
Lydia said frowning
******* her fingers

o so you talked it over
o that's all right
then is it?
The mother said

just to Southend
as a first run
then we want to go
to Scotland
Lydia said

her mother bellowed
are you mad you two?
You can't go
to ****** Scotland
at your age
what 9 years old
and want to go Scotland
and alone?
The mother stared
at Lydia
as if she was mad

Lydia wished
Benny was there
he had a way with words
he might be able
to put it better

whose idea was it?

Both of us
Lydia said
we thought it
would be good
and we could go
to Edinburgh
and see men in kilts
and see the castle

the mother bellowed

Lydia lowered her head
and gazed at
her mother's slippers

you can't go to Scotland
or Edinburgh
or Southend
not alone
the mother said quieter
staring at her daughter

when can we go then?
Lydia said
looking at
her mother's
stockinged legs

when you are old enough
and we say so
her mother said

when will be old enough?
Lydia said
gazing at her mother's
blue patterned apron

when we say so
her mother said
and walked off
back to the kitchen
where the boiler
was boiling washing
and steam came down
the passageway

Lydia sighed
and opened the front door
and went out
to find Benny
and tell him the bad news
and not being able
to see the Edinburgh views.
Terry Collett
Written by
Terry Collett  72/M/England
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