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Terry Collett Apr 2018
Early morning mist
in the field.

Fresh air on her face
as she walked along the track.

Cows mooed from the farm.
A pheasant called from the wood.

She waited to see
if he came up to the farm.

He said he came early
to the farm for the milk.

She waited
sensing the early air
into her lungs.

Rooks called
from the trees tops
overhead.

She had left her parents
asleep in bed.
They wouldn't stir
yet awhile.

She saw him
come up the path
carrying the green jug
for the milk.

She felt excitement inside.

When he saw her he smiled
and walked towards her.
“You're early”
he said
and moved to her
and they hugged and kissed.

“Thought I'd come meet you”
she said
after the kiss and hug.

He looked round
at the early morning view.

“Had breakfast?”
he said.

“No not yet”
she replied.

He took her hand
and they walked
along the path
to the dairy.

They could hear the cows
mooing louder.

The black farm dog
barked at them
as they went into the diary
but skulked away
when the cowman
bellowed at him.

“You're early”
the cowman said
taking the jug
and filling it
with milk
from a huge container.

“Best part of the day”
Benny said.

“Guess it is”
the cowman said.

They walked off
along the path
away from the farm.

He held the jug
with both hands
as it was quite heavy.

She walked beside him
getting as near to him
as she could.

“Want some breakfast
at my parents' place?”
he said.

“Will they mind?”
she said.

He shook his head.
“No of course not”
he said.

They walked through part
of the wood and down
the narrow path to the cottage.

Rooks called loudly
from the wood
as they went in
the garden gate.

They went in the back door
and he placed the milk
on the side
in the kitchen.

His mother was there
raking the stove.

He asked about breakfast for Jane
and his mother smiled
and said yes.

So they sat at the table together
and his mother poured
mugs of tea and hot porridge.

She sensed his knee
touch hers
under the table.

She wanted to kiss him
but felt at that moment
unable.
Terry Collett Apr 2018
He stood by the fence.
The hedgerows were
pregnant with birds.

He hoped she showed
as she said she would.
Cows mooed from a field

out of his sight but he
could hear them getting
nearer. A tractor sounded

far off. The sky was a
bright blue. She had let
him kiss her last time up

on the Downs. He had
carried the kiss home
with him like a prize.

A Red Admiral fluttered
past. He could see her
coming up the narrow

road leading to the church.
She waved to him and he
waved back and his heart

gave a lurch. She came
closer at a steady pace
with sunlight dancing on

her dark hair and pale face.
Terry Collett Mar 2018
Farm smell,
cattle sounds
over the field.

You and I
lay on the grass
in the churchyard.

You were talkative
and I listened to your voice
as if angels
sang around me.

Your mother you said
asked about me.

I was invited to tea
the following Sunday.

I told you
about the wren's nest
I found, but never
touched the eggs.

You turned to face me
and we kissed.

Lips on lips touch;
we parted and gazed.

Your dark eyes
peered into mine.

Your fingers
touched my lips.

Mustn't tell
about kissing,
you said.

I said I wouldn't tell.

We lay back
on the grass
holding hands.

We were silent
listening to the cattle
and birds in the hedge.

Felt your fingers
in between mine.

Soft touching.

I wanted
to kiss you again,
but didn't say,
just us
and the sun on us
as we lay.
Terry Collett Oct 2017
You were there by the farm road,
waiting, wearing that flowered
dress I liked, your dark hair tied
in a ponytail at the back. I had

finished on the farm weighing
the milk and was pleased you
had come. Your mother said you
were at the farm, you said. Did

you want to go home first? No,
we can go wherever you wish,
I said. You smiled and we walked
up the track to the Downs. We held

hands, you having taken mine first.
We passed the hollow tree where
we had sat at times to be alone.
That's a wood pigeon, you said

listening. Yes, I guess it it, I said.
We came to the clearing at the top
of the Downs and lay in the tall grass,
looking down at the green fields

and the farm below. Do you like
working on the farm? You asked.
Yes, I love it, I said. Not bad for a
London boy, Benny, you said. No,

I suppose not, I said. We lay back
and looked at the blue sky. We turned
and faced each other. Eyes on eyes.
Think I love you, you whispered.

Love you, too, I whispered back.
I touched your thigh with my hand.
We mustn't, you said softly. I removed
my hand. My parents trust me; I cannot

betray that trust, you said. I nodded
and we kissed. We lay there looking
at each other. I thinking of your dark
eyes and you thinking of your mother.
on a young couple in 1961
Terry Collett Sep 2017
I had finished weighing the milk
at the farm then walked home
with one of the cowmen.

What do you want to be
when you leave school?
he said.

I want to be a cowman
I said.

No you want to get
yourself a proper job
he said
this don't pay much
and you'll be stuck here
tied to a cottage
any ways
he added
you're a Londoner
you will find something
better in town.

He left me then
to go into his cottage.

I walked on
to my parents' cottage.

My mother was in the kitchen
preparing vegetables for dinner.

Jane came for you
she said.

Where is she now?
I said.

She said she'd meet you
by the water tower
Mum said.

I walked back
along the lane.

Jane was standing
by the water tower
she waved when she saw me
I waved back.

Your mum said
you were up the farm
and wouldn't be long
so I thought I'd
wait here for you
Jane said.

We walked along
and up the narrow path
up towards the Downs.

How are you getting on
at the farm?
she said.

Ok I helped get the cows in
from the field then weighed the milk.

Do you like the work?

Yes I do
I replied
can't believe a London boy
could get into it so quickly.

We stopped by the large hollow tree
and went inside
and sat on a ledge.

Back to school tomorrow
she said.

Yes don't remind me
I said.

I already have
she said.

We gazed at each other
then kissed then moved apart.

There was an odd pump pump
inside my heart.
Benny and Jane in 1961
Terry Collett Jul 2017
That's a Desert Wheatear
Jane said
watching the bird
fly overhead.

We lay on our backs
in the field
watching the blue sky.

Not seen one
for ages
she added.

I breathed in
her apple
and fresh air scent.

How do you
remember all these birds?
I said
turning to gaze at her.

I studied Daddy's books
on birds since
I could first read
she said.

We gazed at each other
her eyes were dark
and sparkled
in the sunshine.

I only knew sparrows
and pigeons in London
I said.

Poor you Benny
not being able to see
what I see every day
and more
she said.

I sensed
my heart pounding
I felt at that
moment so alive
I could burst.

She looked back
at the sky.

I glanced
at her features
her dark hair
the fine jawline
the pinkish lips.

I wished to kiss
as I had
a few days before
but I turned
and gazed at the sky.

Clouds drifted by
white and evolving
into shapes
one by one.

Her hand lay by mine
she touched my hand
with a finger gently.

I touched her finger
surrounded it
with my hand
and held it loosely.

There it goes again
she said
pointing with a finger
of her other hand.

I watched it fly over
the tall grass and away.

I held her finger
and sensed
the warmness
filling me.

I wanted to lay
there with her
forever or
for all eternity.
BOY AND GIRL IN ACOUNTRY FIELD IN 1961
Terry Collett May 2017
Lizbeth was sitting
on the back gate
of my parents' cottage
this morning.

I had just
come back
from the farm
with the morning milk
in the green jug.

What are you
doing here?
I said.

Came to see you
Benny
she said
I rode on my bike.

Her bike was laying
by the hedge.

I can't go out yet
I said
I need to take
the milk in
and have breakfast.

I am early
she said
had to get out
as my mother
was moaning
and driving me
round the bend
like my skirt?

I looked at her
black short skirt.

Bit short isn't it?
I said.

I like it short
she said.

I'll just take
the milk in
I said.

Can I come in
and wait for you
or shall I
wait out here?
she said.

I looked at her
I'll ask
I said.

I left her sitting
on the back gate
her red hair tied
in a ponytail.

I went in
the back door.

My mother
was at the Aga
warming milk.

My siblings
were eating breakfast
my father was in
the bathroom shaving.

Lizbeth is outside
I said
can she come in
and wait for me?

I expect so
my mother said
why is she so early?

Don't know
she can sit in
the front room
I said.

All right
my mother said.

I went out
the back door
and called Lizbeth in.

She climbed off
the gate
and walked over
the yard
and in
the back door.

I don't know
what my mother thought
of Lizbeth's short skirt
but Nigel at school
had said
she was a hot flirt.
A BOY AND GIRL IN 1961
Terry Collett May 2017
I sit by the pond
dragonflies hoover
and swoop and fly off
over the water.

Birds sing
from the trees.

There is a smell
of summer
in the afternoon air.

I must bring
that new boy
Benny here
to sit with me
so we can be alone
far from the peering eyes
of my mother
or neighbours.

Ducks swim past
like small boats
drift effortless.

I wish he
were here now
I wish he was
beside me
right here.

I want to kiss him
and hold him tight
and for him
to kiss me
and hold me tighter.

A woodpecker raps
some place near
a pheasant calls.

I imagine he is here
and we kiss and such.

I hear the wood pigeon call.

I want him overmuch.
A GIRL BY A POND 1962
Terry Collett Mar 2017
Eggs wren eggs
Jane said
leaning into
the hedgerow
parting branches
with her hands.

Benny looked over
her shoulder
smelt apples
and flowers.

We mustn't
touch them
she said
or the mother wren
won't return again.

Benny stood just
behind her taking in
her dark hair
shoulder length
her slim fingers
holding back
the branches.

He could see
the small eggs.

A kid at school
brought one
of those in
Benny said
it had a hole
at either end.

That's bad
she said
robbing nests
and taking a life.

I guess it is
Benny said
he had it wrapped
in an handkerchief
and was showing us
in the playground
at recess.

She stepped back
and let the branches
return to how they were.

You wouldn't do
that would you?
she said.

No of course not
he said.

She smiled
I'm glad you wouldn't
Daddy says it is
against God's will
she added.

There was a sparrow's nest
up over by the farm track
Benny said.

They walked up the lane
and he showed her
the nest and the eggs
still there untouched
or harmed.

Their elbows touched
as they leaned
together to look
skin on skin.

He wanted to kiss her
but didn't in
case it was
(in her father's eyes)
a sin.
A BOY AND GIRL IN A COUNTRY LANE IN 1961
Terry Collett Dec 2016
Where are you going, Jane?
Your mother said that morning.

Going to see Benny, you replied.

You see Benny now sitting on
the gate to the field; he is in his
blue jeans and black Wellington
boots, a white open neck shirt.

You wonder whether to tell him
you dreamed of him the night
before; whether to say nothing
and keep it to yourself. It had
been a lovely dream, and when
you woke up you wanted to go
back to sleep and enter the dream
again, but then you dreamed of
something else. He sees you
coming and climbs down from
the gate. You feel self conscious
as if he could enter your mind and
share your thoughts; you blush slightly.

How are you? He asks. I am fine,
you say, taking in his hazel eyes,
the quiff of brown hair, his smile
that some girls say is an Elvis smile.

You stand before him and hesitate;
wanting to kiss him; wanting him
to kiss you. I've been helping with
the milking on the farm this morning,
he says. That's good for an ex-London
boy, you say, smiling, seeing him look
at you. I have surprised myself, he says,
A few months ago, I didn't know a cow
from a bull. Shall I tell him about the
dream? You want to, but what will he say?

You talk to him about a bullfinch you
had seen that morning at the vicarage,
its colouring, the way it sat there in a bush.

He suggests going up the Downs; you
agree and begin to walk beside him back
along the narrow road and up the track
towards the Downs. He talks of his father
working in the woods a mile away; about
the time his father took him with him and
how he found skeletons of rabbits
and birds. You watch him sideways
on; wanting to tell him of the dream;
wanting him to kiss you. He looks
up, points to the sky through the tall
trees, it's a bright washed out blue.
A GIRL AND BOY IN A SUSSEX LANE IN 1961
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