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Terry Collett Jun 2018
She irritates you
so you choose
to sit next to her

in recreation,
allow the irritation
to bring in,

like a screaming child,
that special love
beyond the norm,

listen to her moans
and groans as if they
were music to your ears.

She sighs at your attempt
to sew the stockings
of another nun,

and taking her sighs
as if they were prayers
you breathe them on their way,

finger the needle
through the wool
more carefully,

as if the Blessed ****** herself
were then to wear,
you gaze upon the nun

like one in love,
not glare.
She fingers her rosary

and clutters her beads
quite noisily, mumbling
her prayers like a child

stomping the stairs,
but you hear the music
in the beads clicking

and her mumbling voice,
a free concert
and no longer an irritation

to head nor nerves,
so you give it and her
the love she deserves.
Who's  heart a company's  yours
Were in your soul does it hurt
Does your soul search your spirit
Do they feed on brokeness .
Are they trapped in your wounds
Are theses sores fested from
Who picks up the pieces of shadows
That dance among wolves
Who are theses lame men.
Why do they pretend to care
They put on a pausable act.
They dont fool me.
Because  they have left  many lives in ruin
They have robbed mothers of their first born.
They are the devils  in disguise.
Terry Collett Sep 2017
Anne stuck her tongue out at
the back of the departing nun.
A third degree on her bad behaviour
with the other kids at the nursing

home and her attitude with other
nuns had been noted. The stump
of her amputated leg throbbed;
her absent toes itched. The nun

crossed the lawn and disappeared
into the home. The Kid walked over
to where she sat in her wheelchair
and sat beside her. What did the

penguin want? He said. She's had
complaints about me, Anne replied,
the sick prats have grassed. He gazed
at the leg stump where she'd pulled

up her red skirt. Looks redder than
usual, he said. Have your eyeful, Kid,
she said moaningly. Have you showed

Sister Paul? He said. I wouldn't show her
my backside if it was on fire, she replied,
pulling down her skirt. Push me out
to the beach, Kid, I need sea air, she said.
O.k., he said, and pushed her wheelchair

along the avenue of trees to the back
gate and out by beach and sea. Breath
in the air, Kid; this is it; the wildness of
the sea and the wind blowing free.
A girl and boy in seaside nursing home 1958
Terry Collett Sep 2017
What's your name skinny kid?
Benny. He looked at the girl
in the wheelchair with one leg.

I’ll call you Skinny Kid. She
looked past him at other kids
on the lawn and on the swings.

Why you here? she added looking
back at him. Had an operation
and am here for rest. He looked at
her red skirt and the one leg visible.

What happened to your leg? She
pulled up her red skirt and showed
him the stump. Lost it, can't find it
anywhere; have a good gawk, Kid.

He did. Can I touch it? She stared at
him sure why not. He touched her
stump. It feels warm. Look out the
penguins are about. She pulled down
her skirt. The boy looked back at the lawn
and saw a tall nun dressed in black
walk towards them. He sat on one of
the white metal chairs. The nun stopped
by the table and stared at Benny. You are
the new boy? Yes I’m Benny. She nodded.

She gazed at the girl. I hope you are behaving
and not leading Benny astray. Anne looked
at the nun. I always behave Sister Paul.

The nun didn't look convinced. That has yet
to be seen. The nun turned and walked to
the swings and talked to other kids.

That crow is always on my case, Kid,
avoid her like the piles. Benny nodded
and put on one of his good boy smiles.
Francie Lynch Apr 2017
The Miss, Misters and Mrs.,
And the St. Joseph's Sisters,
Made me a Bluejay,
Jay- jaying and soaring
Over Wrens and Robins
Below in five rows.
Teeth marks on Ticondarogas,
Initialed pink rubbers,
Toothpicks and fingers
Solved all those problems.

Sister Lucille showed me Sarnia
On the Neilson Wall Map,
With the Malted Milk,
Crispy Crunch bars staring back.
They looked too delicious,
Her reprimand was contritious,
I'm doing time during recess,
Ninety minutes til lunch.

We stood in a crooked line,
Like a snake, to get marked,
With her drawer a ***** open
We'd get a peek at her strap.
Black or red, correctively cold;
Sister Roseangela, we'd heard,
Cried, Quid Pro Quo.

We had football baseball,
And hockey dreams,
Volleyball, basketball,
And funeral teams;
Field Days, Holy Days,
Days needed at home;
Teachers were coaches,
With little time to complain;
But the kids back then
Just weren't the same.
There were skirmishes, fouls,
Strike outs and time outs;
We were sliced white bread,
No rye or whole grain.

We'd march double file
Once a week to the Church,
To genuflect and reflect
At the Stations and Cross.
To confess, get redress,
Display penitent remorse,
Though keeping a secret
From the Confessional box,
A comfort and curse.

Their objective succeeded,
The lessons went deep;
Using the three Rs,
The ABCs, 1, 2, 3s,
To impart and ingraine
How to carry one's cross.

I remember by name
The Miss,  Misters and Mrs.
And St. Joseph's Sisters
Who gave their all,
Each day, and always.
They've gone or retired,
But recalled in tranquility
For the life-lessons I admire.
Serious edit and repost.
Neilson candies provided free maps for Canadian schools.
Terry Collett Sep 2016
The new nun
wheeled Anne
out of the French windows
and onto the lawn.

To the end table,
Anne said,
where the Kid is.

The nun wheeled
the wheelchair slowly
over the lawn,
past other tables
where children sat
playing Snap,
past the swings and slide,
where kids were gathered,
and on down
to the small white table
at the end
where she stopped.

Hello Benny,
the nun said,
how are you?

I'm fine,
Benny said,
looking at Anne
who pulled a face.

OK Sister you
can go now
prayer time soon.

O so it is,
the nun said,
and turning like
some flapping black crow
she walked off.

Talk about slow,
I could have wheeled
myself quicker,
we were almost past
by a snail back there,
Anne said.

Benny smiled.

Right Kid
I want you
to push me
on to the beach,
we're going to have
a fun time out
and away
from the sick
and dying ones,
we're going to see
the sea and gulls
and throw stones
at the tide
and any gull
that ventures too near.

Ought we to ask
Sister Paul first,
get permission?
Benny said.

That's for the weak
and kids,
we do what
we want, Kid,
now are you ready?

Yes sure,
he said,
got some biscuits
from the breakfast table
and a couple
of rolls too.

Good Kid
you're learning,
anyone see you?
Anne said.

No no one,
he said.

Good Kid,
now let's go
before the penguins
see us go.

So Benny got behind
the wheelchair
and began to wheel her
along the path
between the trees
towards the back gate.

A voice called to them,
the young new
nun's voice floated away
as they went out
the back gate
and on to the path
by the sand.

Anne said:
push Kid,
before the nun follows.

So the Kid
pushed faster
and and faster
and down onto
the beach
and making two ridges
in the sand he moved
as fast as his
10 year old legs could go.

Then they came
to a stop
where the sand
held the wheels.

Here will do Kid,
sit beside me a while.

What about stones
to throw?
He asked.

Later Kid,
for now
we watch the sea
and breathe in
the fecking air,
get it into your lungs Kid
this is what life's
about Kid,
fecking breathe.

So he breathed
in the air
and the sea smell
and he smiled.

Anne said:
life is what
you make it Kid,
none of those
penguins around.

He sat and breathed in
the soft air;
he could hear gulls
and the sea sound.
Terry Collett May 2016
Mary's father is sitting
in the lounge reading
a newspaper before dinner

Mary comes into the room
and sits in the armchair
by the window
and peers out

her father lowers
the newspaper
there's talk of you
from the nuns
he says

she turns and looks at him
is there
good I hope
she says

no it's not
he says

o well there you are Da
you can't please all
of the people
all of the time

never the time
with you it seems
with the nuns
he says
he shakes out
the newspaper
making noise

what's it this time?
she says
sitting back
in the armchair
letting her backside comfy

words you've said
he says
raising the paper
and peering over the top

what words?
I speak civil
and  I answer
the **** questions
about God
and the religion
and maths etc.
what word is this?
she says

he sighs
wishes she were
a young little girl still
not some 14 year old
know it all
with a mouth on her
he lowers the paper
and takes out a letter
from his waistcoat pocket
(slightly ******* up)
and offers it to her
here read it yourself
he says

she leans out of the chair
and takes the letter
from his hand
and sits back down again
and unfolds the letter
and reads

he lifts the newspaper
and reads a sports page

I never did
Mary says
never in my precious
to Christ life have I said that

she reads on
staring at the page
as if it had criticized her
(which it did)
they're like
the fecking Gestapo
she mutters

I was not kissing Magdalene
I was whispering
something to her
Mary mutters to the page
(and her father
if he was listening)
and I never did
call Sister Clare
a ****** waster
Mary muttered on
then she refolds the letter
and puts it
on the arm of the chair
and gazes at her father

he says
what have you to say
for yourself?

she gazes at him
once he'd have
tanned her behind
and sent to bed without dinner
but he'd gone soft
on her since
she'd grown ****
and tried negotiation instead

what's for dinner?
she says

wait and see
he says

so what about the contents
of the good nun's letter?
he says

it was one of those days
she says
womanly things
gets to me

her father lifts
the newspaper
and says tiredly
I see.
Terry Collett Mar 2016
watches her
father dig
over his
garden plot,
from her small
bedroom view,
his back bent
then upright,
sweaty brow
he wipes with
the back of
his large hand.

Her mother
is cooking
the dinner
in the hot
large kitchen
below stairs.

Father's got
a dark mood,
just because
the nuns wrote
about me
and Mary
being seen
in the bog

What were you
doing there?
He bellowed
once he'd read
the letter.

Just talking,
nothing else.

In the bog;
can't you stop
talking just
long enough
to answer
the call of
**** NATURE?
He shouted.

Then he slapped
her backside
in passing
to go out
to his plot
to dig out
his anger.

She watches
as he stands,
straightens up,
rubs his back,
wipes his brow,
then proceeds
to dig more.

Her backside
still stings now,
but her thoughts
and feelings
are on young
Mary whose
body she
loves, whose
lips she kissed,
**** him, she
says, seeing
a Magpie
behind him
on the ground.

Mary's dad
will not be
please if he
got a ****
letter too,
God's knows what,
she mutters,
he will do.
Terry Collett Feb 2016
You want to be a nun?
Magdalene said
sitting on her bed
in her room
with Martha sitting
beside her
listening to a Beatles LP
on the record player on the floor

Martha said
yes one of those ones
who pray all day
not like those at school
who have to teach
brats like us

Magdalene smiled
who'd be a fecking nun
like that but to be
a contemplative nun
is something else
Martha like out
of this world so it is

Martha gazed
at the turning LP
on the turntable

I want to be a bride
of the Crucified
she said

Magdalene stared at her
bride of Christ?
she said

Martha nodded
in some convent miles
from anywhere
and no fellars around
to touch you
or lift your fecking
dress or skirt
and ask to see
your underclothes

Magdalene sensed
Martha near
her thigh close to hers
almost touching
she smelt of soap and toast
odd combination
but that's Martha
she let her elbow
touch Martha's

that's boys for you
always out for something
Magdalene said
wishing Martha
would turn around now
and kiss her
but she knows she won't
but she like Mary best
she's probably would
kiss hopefully one day

Martha said
getting a packet out
of her dress pocket

Magdalene nodded
and took a cigarette
and Martha lit both cigarettes
and they sat
and inhaled
in thought

when I see or touch
the Crucified I come out
in goosebumps
Martha said suddenly

Magdalene frowned
what the real one?
she said

no the Crucified
in church or at school
in the hall
the big one who spreads
His arms wide
and looks skyward

Magdalene smiled
and put a hand around
Martha's shoulder
that's cute
she said

I kiss His feet in church
when no one's looking
Martha said
or on my rosary
but His feet are small on that
and I'm probably kissing
His legs as well
not that He'd mind
but it's feet I like
to kiss like that
Mary Magdalene did
she said

Magdalene wished
she could kiss any part
of Martha
just the once or so

she hugged her tight
as she spoke
and mused
you never know.
Terry Collett Feb 2016
The sisters(nuns)
at the school
are not happy with you
Mary's father said
at dinnertime
at the table

what's she done now?
her mother said

Mary swallowed a mouthful
of stew
eyed her father

not happy with me?
she said

not at all
her father said sternly
his eyes focusing on her
like a bird of prey

I've done nothing
Mary said  

don't be telling me
your lies and fables
her father said
or I'll put my hand
across your behind

her mother looked down
at her plate
and mouthed food

Mary toyed
with a fork of beef

they don't understand me
she said
when I've one
of my monthlies
my mind is off balance
and it disturbs my moods

her father's face tinged
a slight red
around his cheeks

her mother chewed
and looked
at the tablecloth pattern
of blue and white

Mary forked in
another mouthful of stew

they say you're
rude and insolent
he said
looking beyond her
at the picture
of the Sacred Heart
on the wall
above the fireplace

just trying
to get through
the **** bleeds
she said
makes me not happy
being stuck there
in the classroom
while my mind's on
a low dive and the mess
and my mind down
and them standing there
like penguins
peering at me

he said
his voice heavy
his hand tapping the table
palm down

the mother gazed at Mary
eyes fixed on her
wondering if the father'd
slap the girl's behind

Mary put on her
a little-innocent-girl-gaze

I've been to confessions
and told the priest
and got absolution
so I have
she said
eyeing her father

he stared at her
sitting there
a 14 year old
with a mouth of a 18 year old
and entering that arena
of womanhood with
its weird month
and week thing

well mind your manners
and see your mother
about these week things
he said

the mother gazed at him
then at her daughter
and nodded
and ate again

he looked at his daughter
and was glad there
was only the one
and ate a mouthful
looking away
at the Christ's
pointing finger
at his Sacred Heart

Mary nodded and stared
at her plate
and mouthed
a fork of beef
sensing a danger pass
and a felt deep relief.
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