THE BIG COW | By: Terry Collett | | Category: Poem - Life Bookmark and Share


Outside the door
of the butler Dudman
Polly sticks up
two fingers at him
and mouths a string
of four-letter words

she strides off
towards the kitchen
where Mrs Gripe
(the cook)
is waiting for her

Polly's thoughts
are on George(master)
and what Dudman said
about her not
having sex with him
when he comes home
from the place
he is resting
with shell-shock
from the War

or you will be fired
she hears Dudman's voice
in her ears
as she climbs down
the stairs and along
the passage way

she passes Susie
near the kitchen
entering the scullery

where have you been?
Susie says eyeing her

never you mind
Polly says
and enters the kitchen
where Gripe stands
hands on her hips
and gazing at her

where you been?
Been waiting for you
Gripe says coldly

Polly bites her tongue
and goes to the sink
and begins
to peel the potatoes

cat got your tongue?
I said where have you been?
Gripe says

Mr Dudman wanted
to see me about something
but I am here now
Polly says

Gripe stares at her
what about?
Gripe says

ask him
Polly says
peeling the potatoes
with viciousness

I am asking you
Gripe says
and I expect respect
not rudeness girl

Polly gouges out
a potatoes eye
and turns towards Gripe
about something I do
and mustn't do in future
and I am sorry
for being rude
Polly says

Gripe stares at her
and Polly stares back

about you
and Master George?
Gripe says

Polly reddens
and looks away
and nods

be discreet and careful
if Master George
wants you
Gripe says quietly
and turns away
and puts a big saucepan
on the stove

silence comes
and Polly peels on
and wonders what
George is doing now
and maybe
she thinks
Gripe isn't always
the big cow.

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