OUTSIDE THE CINEMA.

After tea
you went out

into the summer evening
without cowboy hat

or rifle
but your six shooter

tucked in the belt
of your jeans

to meet Helen
under the railway bridge

next to the Duke of Wellington
public house

I thought you weren’t coming
Helen said

standing in her summer dress
and holding her favourite doll

Battered Betty
my horse refused to come

so I had to walk
you said

Helen smiled
my mum knows I’m with you

but I mustn’t be out late
Helen said

where shall we go?
you asked

let’s go and see
what’s on at the cinema

Helen said
so you both walked

along the back streets
until you came

onto the main road
and studied the cinema billboards

I saw Davy Crockett here
you said

who’s he?
Helen asked

he was a frontiersman
who fought Indians

and wore a bearskin hat
you said

was he here?
Helen asked

it was a film
you replied

oh
she said

she swung Battered Betty
behind her back

from hand to hand
I haven’t been

to the pictures recently
mum said we can’t afford it

what about Saturday matinee?
you asked

you could come to that
it’s for kids only

and it’s fun
Helen brought Battered Betty

into her arms
I’m not sure

she said
I could asked your mum

you said
I’d take care of you

I’ve got my six shooter
Helen put her hand

in your hand
and said

ok she’d listen to you
Helen said

you felt her hand in yours
and hoped no boys

who knew you
saw this or

the following
small lips kiss.

OUTSIDE THE CINEMA.

Terry Collett

Horsham, United Kingdom

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