Hip hip hurray!
It’s cleaning day!

I get to poke and prod and pull
While you ignore me like I’m a fool;
Threats of no tv and no iPad
Fall on deaf ears - and just make ME sad.
You’ve figured out it’s all a bluff
That if you wait I’ll put away your stuff.
But what am I supposed to do?
Leave this gigantor mess - and let anger brew?
Honestly - what is wrong with you?
Do you think that we live in a zoo?
What consequence can I perhaps muster
That you shall see as more than bluster?
I simply can’t abide this loathesome mess
And how you can - I sure can’t guess!

Argh.

After exhausting every parental cliche
And barely surviving cleaning day
I think it’s time; this must be said -
For us to consider hiring a maid!
When neither carrot nor stick motivates but things need to get done, what do you do?
Terry Collett Apr 21
George's father
stares at Polly.
"How is George?"
he asks eyeing
the young maid
who cares for his
shell-shocked son.

Polly studies the man
behind the desk
how his eyes
search her.

"He has moments of nerves
but I manage to calm him"
she replies
pushing from her mind
she and George
in bed the night before.

"I have received a letter
asking about him
from his regiment commander"
he says
"asking about his possible
return to the Front."

Polly's eyes betray a fear.
"He can't"
she says
"he's not well enough."

His eyes pierce her.
"It is not your opinion
he will be asking"
he says sitting forward
in his chair.

"If it wasn't for me
he'd be locked away
in some asylum".
Polly says
not thinking
as she speaks.

He looks at her.
"I know he thinks
you are his wife
but you are not"

Polly stands up straight
looking at him.
"But all the time
he does
I am"
she replies
seeing George
making love to her
twice in the night
behind her eyes.
Terry Collett Mar 27
Polly watches the sun rise
into the room. She lies beside
George in his bed. It was
the only way to calm him
down last night. He thought
he saw snipers in the trees
over the way. He sleeps still.

Eyes shut and eyelids like
smooth shells. She didn't
think he would be able to
perform but he did. As if
nothing much had changed.

But he was not the same.
The War has blunted his
sense of humour. Twice
in the night. At one time
he shook the bed with the
nerves going off. She lies
still gazing at him there.

The thin dark moustache.
The lips still. What if he
had died? Shell shock is
a kind of death she muses.

Where to go from here?
He thinks she's his wife
and not the maid he used
to bed while on leave.

His parents are not happy
about her being with him
most of the time. But she
alone can calm him if he
loses his nerve and shouts
and screams and shakes.

She is supposed to sleep
next door in the adjoining
room but he wanted her
in his bed. It had been
nearly a year since he last
made love to her before
he went back to the trenches
and the Front. She can
sense him close to her.

She wants him inside her
again and again. She had
best get up in case someone
comes along and sees her
in his bed. She rises up and
goes to the adjoining room
to wash and dress and brush
her hair which is in a mess.
You watched George
undress for bed,
made sure
he didn't slip
or fall with the shakes.

He had caused
a scene at dinner
and his mother asked you
to take him back
to his room.

He thought you his wife
and not the maid.

The shell shock
had disrupted
his thoughts and nerves.

He stood there naked
staring at the wall.

You picked up his pyjamas
and dressed him.

He was pliant
and stared at you.

Polly, what has
become of us?
he said.

He had tears
in his eyes.

We are safe,
George, you said.

His hands began
to shake again.

You held him close to you
sensing him shake and cry.

You didn't know
the sights and sounds
that haunted him;
what the War had done
was visible
before your eyes:
in his eyes
an old world died
and a world cursed by lies.
Pagan Paul Feb 12
.
She walks the castle walls at night,
with a rose held fast in her fingers,
the mist rolls away across the land,
the memory of her lover still lingers.

Cold flagstones beneath her slippered feet
hold the histories of the aeons tight.
Old battles, wars, and terrifying sieges,
ghosts of ancient warriors wail in the night.

And still she clutches his parting gift,
she wears the bond burden of his ring,
his love weighs upon her broken heart,
tears flow free with a melancholic sting.

They fall upon the stones and disappear,
additions to the heavy tomes of history,
little gems writing sadness in a story,
as she stares into the distance so wistfully.



© Pagan Paul (10/02/18)
.
Terry Collett Feb 12
George sat at the dining table
for evening dinner.

It was the first time
he had been down to dinner
in many months, since being sent home
with shell shock in 1916.

He sat quiet,
staring at his sister
who sat opposite.

Other guests
sat along each side
of the long table,
and his father sat
at the top end
and his mother
at the other end.

He wanted to shut out
the chatter; it grounded
on his fragile nerves.

The man next to him
(lord something or other)
tried to engaged him
in conversation
about the War,
but George turned
and gazed at the man,
gazed at his moustache
rising and falling as he spoke,
the words floating in the air
like wounded birds.

His sister said:
George doesn't talk of the War,
he finds it disturbing.

The man looked at the sister:
I suppose he must;
are on your leave then, Sir?

George turned away.
He wanted his wife.
Where was she?

He searched along the table
on either side, ignoring
the man next to him.

Where's Polly?
He said anxiously
to his sister.

His sister leaned forward:
Polly is busy, George,
you will see her later,
the sister said
in a soft voice.

I WANT HER NOW!
George bellowed,
his hands shaking,
his eyes staring
along the table.

His mother got up
from the table
and went around to George
who had pushed back his chair
and was standing shaking.

Calm, George,
she said.

She put an arm
about him
and began to lead him
from the dining room.

The guests stared in silence.

Polly who had been outside
waiting to take meals in,
came in and spoke quietly
to the mother,
and taking George's hand
led him from the room.

George is suffering
from shell shock,
his father said,
he has not quite
got through with it yet.

The guests nodded
and spoke in soften voices
offering apologises
and words of sadness
and such as guests do.

George held tight
to Polly's hand.

Who are those people?
He said,
his hands shaking,
his eyes staring around him.

Just dinner party guests,
George,
Polly said,
leading him
up the stairs,
wondering
what the butler will say
about her entering
the dining room
other than as a maid.

They climbed up the stairs;
George crouched down
thinking the bright lights
were flares.
He was a bachelor,
A free soul without bother.
He comes home from work,wan,
The house is spick and span,
Every thing is perfectly placed,
The table,with food laid,
His pyjamas neatly piled on the bed,
That is the maid.

He gets married,
He comes home tired,
A little clutter here and there,
But the bedroom is done with care.
There is soft music, perfumed candles and flowers,
Romantic nights for lovers,
For dinner,mostly takeaways and leftovers.

They have children, three,
He comes home, weary,
There is chaos,
The house is a  mess,
Children are crying and shouting,
The dog is  barking,
The wife is howling and screaming,
Before she starts complaining,
He takes over the  kitchen,
Tells  her to see to the children,
For, household chores,
She abhors.

The wife and kids go to her mother,
Home is quiet, no clutter,
For a while mum has come to stay,
Once again hot meals everyday,
The house is warm and clean,
He only has to see to the bin.
Mum is the best,
But he misses his wife and kids nevertheless.
Though there are ups and down in his married life he has adjusted and loves his family.
Tess Jan 4
A masculine figure; a girl in disguise, fear is imminent when you realize, their mission's the same, both hired to kill, but not for the money, but simply the thrill.
Pitter-patter, pitter-patter, their steps draw near. They're prepared for the kill, they won't shed a tear.
The blade sings silently when pulled from its place. A hideous ecstasy is marked on his face.
The sticky crimson formed a very thin line. Both of their memories traveled back in time, to when love was real, and pure from the heart. They swore it to each other, ''Till death do us part.''
Yet limp in his arms, his dead beloved laid, a crossbow in arms disguised as a maid. Though suddenly ill, he took a step back and found the pills she hid behind her back.
He remembered the challenge from when they were younger. Who was the best, who could last longer?Compelled on his knees, his hand 'round his neck, he was suffocating, the breath pulled from his chest.
Foul words he uttered and thought of his drink, and how his partner was smart like a sphinx. Though he was stronger, her wit was uncanny; he had tried to best her one time too many.
She knew she couldn't beat him, for he was too strong. She decided her death she wouldn't prolong. Like a lamb to the slaughter, she decided to come. When the pill took over, he'd know she won.
And he'd know it was true, on his very last day, the deadliest assassin was dressed as a maid.
Terry Collett Aug 2017
George's father called Polly
into his study.

She had been there
a few times before
as a maid
but this was different.

Sit down, Polly,
he said.

She sat down,
all the time
looking at him,
taking in his greying hair
and that moustache of his
and those dark eyes
piecing at her.

How is George?
he asked.

He is a little better,
she replied.

His mother said
he ignored her
when she came
to see him
the other day,
his father said.

He doesn't talk
to anyone much,
Polly replied.

He talks to you,
his father said,
why not others?

I don't know,
Polly replied.

The day before
walking with him
in the grounds
he spoke only
a few words.

How noisy
the birds were,
he had said.

And that time
the other night
as Polly was
putting him to bed,
he had taken her hand
and said: come to bed.

But she hadn’t;
she said,
later, George,
but never did.

That would be unfair
to him and her,
she thought,
not like the old days
before the war,
or before his shell-shock,
when she and he
made love in his bed
at his request.

Has he improved at all
since he returned home?
his father said.

I think he is slowly,
Polly said.

I would have tried
to get him a man
to take care of him,
but he seems better
with you
and if I got a man
he might go backwards,
the father said.

I'll take care of him,
Polly said,
all the time
he needs me.

His father studied her,
his eyes searching her,
and she wondered
if he knew about her
and his son before this,
knew about the sex
and such,
but if he did
he didn't say
or give any hint
or say as much.
A MAID AND GEORGE'S FATHER IN 1917 lONDON
Terry Collett Jun 2017
They're out there
George said
peering out
the window
of his room.

Polly who had been
making his bed
looked over at him.

Who are George?
she said.

They think
I can't see them
but I do
creeping along there  
by the trenches.

She came across
and stood beside him
and looked out
the window.

Cows moved
in the field
over the way
tails wagging slow.

They shot Briggs
right through the head
and he was beside me
one minute
he was talking
next gone
a hole through
his forehead.

They won't get me
like that
he said.

It'll be
all right George
just keep near me.

She held his arm
a cow moved
behind the hedge.

Back back
George said
and held her close
and away
from the window
his eyes large
and staring.

She kissed
his cheek
he turned
and gazed at her
his eyes
frightened looking.

They won't kill me
will they?

No George
not now
she said
holding him.

He stared ahead
his eyes watching
a moving cow.
A SHELL-SHOCKED OFFICER AND THE MAID IN 1917
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