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Jul 2018
The two nurses
***** me off
for a blanket bath,

said Grace,
I lay here on the bed,
my blind eyes

staring at blackness.
They lift each leg stump
and wash them gently

and with care;
they wash me where
only mother ever touched

when I was a child;
they wash me
with the warm water all over,

talking between themselves;
they talk of the bombing
the night before,

of the people brought in
from the raid;
of the many dead

who lay
in the mortuary now.
One talks of her night out

with her boyfriend
home on leave,
the other asks questions;

I fail to listen to.
I think of Clive
and the last time

we made love
in my bed
before he went off to fight

and was killed at Dunkirk,
and the night my house
was bombed and my maid

was killed and I lost my legs and sight
and thrown into this dark night.
They dry me gently

and dress my stumps again
and the put on my nightie.
They have gone

and I lay here
musing on Clive
and the man Philip

who came with Guy
and who talked to me
and promised

to take me out.
Why would he want
to go out with a legless,

blind woman?
And where
would we go?

He never said
and I may never know.
A blind? Legless, woman in 1940 London
Terry Collett
Written by
Terry Collett  71/M/England
(71/M/England)   
  1.5k
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