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SARSPARILLA AND JANICE AND YOU.

You walked with Janice
to Baldwin’s the Herbalist

at the corner of Elephant
and Walworth Road

she wore her blue patterned dress
and red beret

and white socks
and red sandals

and in her small purse
she had money

her gran gave her
to buy sarsaparilla

in a half pint glass
and you

in your cowboy shirt
and jeans and plimsolls

with your holster
and six shooter

in the belt
around your waist

and clutching money
your mother’d given you

for doing a few chores
Gran would never let me

go on my own
Janice said

but when I said
you were going

Gran said all right
but no sweets

they rot your teeth
I like the liquorice sticks

you can buy there
you said

they make your teeth white
or so my mum said

Janice looked at your gun
in the holster

and said
you can protect me

from outlaws with your gun
sure

you replied
she smelt of lavender

and toothpaste from tins
and she moved nearer to you

and her arm touched yours
as you walked along

here we are
she said

and opened the door of Baldwin’s
and you both went in

and went to the counter
and asked the man

for two half pints
of sarsaparilla

and when he poured them
and you each paid him

you stood by the window
with your glasses

and sipped
and looked

at the passing traffic
and people

you feeling like Wyatt Earp
in the saloon

and Janice looking out
as if she feared

outlaws would be coming
pretty soon.

SARSPARILLA AND JANICE AND YOU.

Terry Collett

Horsham, United Kingdom

  • Artist
    Notes
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