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May 2014
I stood in line
to be weighed
in the bathroom
of the nursing home

Anne crutched herself
behind me
you haven't
got a chance in hell

of winning
that chocolate bar Kid
she said
I've seen more meat

on a butcher's pencil
stuck behind his ear
might win
I said

might fly
she said  
the kid in front of me
got on

the green metal scales
and the nun
moved the weight
along the top

not you Malcolm
she said
the kid got off sulkily
I got on the scales

and the nun
moved the weight
I looked at her
black and white

her pinched features
not you Benny
she said

I got off
and walked away
Anne awkwardly
got on the scales

holding herself
on her one leg
the stump
of the other

hanging there
best so far Anne
the nun said
told you Kid

you didn't
have a chance
guess not
I said

as she crutched herself
along side of me
not to worry
if I get the choco bar

I’ll give you
a quarter for being
a good friend
no other

in this *******
gets a look in
we went along
to our rooms

come in Kid
she said
I hesitated
come in

I want to
ask you something
I stood swaying

what if
one of the nuns
comes along?  
what if I don't give you

quarter of the choc bar?
she said
I followed her in
to the girls dorm

no one else
was there
just she and me
she closed the door

with her backside
right Kid
I want you
to do me

a favour
I said
sensing uncertainty

hit my gut
yes I want you
to sneak along
to the kitchen tonight

and liberate
some biscuits
I said

yes you know
what biscuits are
don't you

those hard things
with cream in the middle
or chocolate
on one side

I know what biscuits are
I said
but what do you mean

take some
from the big tin
they have
on the shelf

in larder
I said
you mean steal?

whatever word

you want
to use Kid
what if I get caught?
don't get caught

but what if I do?
Anne sighed
sat on the edge
of her bed

I thought you
were someone
I could rely on Kid
not some cowardly custard

yellow belly
I looked
at her leg stump
sticking out

the other leg
reached to the floor
if you're really good
I’ll let you touch

my stump
she said
no need
I said

I'll try tonight
sneak down
after lights out
good Kid

she said
she took my right hand
and lay it
on the stump

and held it there
it felt warm
and soft
she let my hand go

good huh?
wish the rest
was there
she said

off you go
and don't get caught
I nodded
and backed out

of the room
seeing her cover
the stump
with her dress

and smile
see you
I said
you bet

she said
I walked away
of the big steal

of biscuits
unthought through
by my 10 year old brain
as yet.
Terry Collett
Written by
Terry Collett  Sussex, England
(Sussex, England)   
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