Fay sat beside you
on the concrete stairs
of Banks House
looking out
into the Square

where young girls
played skip rope
or boys having toy guns
reenacted WW2
taking no prisoners

firing noisy cap guns
and Fay said
where shall we go?
where do you want to go?
you said

away from the noisy guns
and skip rope games
she replied
and so you both got up
and went out

into the Square
and down the slope
the morning sun
blessing your heads
she in her summery dress

of yellow and orange flowers
white socks and sandals
and you in your grey tee shirt
and jeans and battered
black shoes

and you walked up
Meadow Row
between the houses
on either side until you turned right
by the public house

and onto the bombsite
behind the greengrocer store
and there you both sat
on the remains of a wall
looking around the ruins

and wild flowers
growing between bricks
and broken concrete blocks
and Fay said
I wonder who lived here

when the bombs fell?
what did they feel?
you studied her fair hair
tied in a bow
her blue eyes

scanning the scene
the white and yellow flowers
the weedy green
scared I guess
you said

I would be
she said
my mum said
she hid under
the dining room table

with her niece
where she lived
when the bombs fell
and there was the sound
of bombs falling

and explosions
and bangs
and people calling
and children crying
you said

Fay put her arm
under yours
and squeezed it tight
and lay her head
on your shoulder

and she whispered
I’m glad we
weren’t here then
glad we were born
after the War

me too
you said
and she squeezed
your arm tightly
some more.


Terry Collett

Horsham, United Kingdom

  • Artist
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