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Jul 2017
She had a fading tattoo
on her thigh
which caught my eye.

Winnie asked me
to help her
bath Florence
as she was alone
and I wasn't busy.

You don't mind
if Benny helps me
bath you
do you Florence?
Winnie said.

no make my day
for a young feller
to see my tattoo again
first time
in many years
I can tell you
Florence said.

Used to be
a dancer
back in
the early days
danced on stage
up inΒ Β London
and sometimes
when we toured
we went all
over the place.

Once Winnie
had helped
Florence undress
I saw the tattoo clearer
it was in blue and pink
and was of a dancer
doing the can-can.

Is that what
you did Florence
the can-can?
Winnie said.

Yes that
and other dancing too
did more than
dancing too
other times
she laughed.

I smiled.

She had her
grey hair long now
as Winnie
had unpinned
the hair to wash it.

Had a young feller
who wanted
to marry me
but he got himself
killed at Mons
and that was that.

Another one came
back blinded
and although
I could have
married him
I wasn't keen
on marrying
a blind bloke
you know what
with me dancing
and touring
and having to
help him
I couldn't do it.

I think he married
some other girl.

Florence went quiet
had my chances
but never did marry.

Bet you were a looker
when you were young
Winnie said.

Got a photo
in my drawer
when I was a dancer
one of those sepia jobs
faded a bit like me
but you can see me
as I was then.

We eased Florence
down in the bath.

I wondered how many
other men had seen her
like I did
but didn't ask or say.

Once in the bath
Winnie did her back
and Florence talked on
all about once upon.
Terry Collett
Written by
Terry Collett  72/M/England
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