DUDMAN'S COLD STARE 1916 | By: TERRY COLLETT | | Category: Poem - Life Bookmark and Share



A car arrives in the drive

and stops outside

the front door


all the servants are there

and George's parents

wait there all importantly

watching the car door


the chauffeur gets out

and opens the back door

and George back

from the hospital

for shell shock

gets out and puts a hand

over his forehead

to block out sunlight

then looks around the grounds

around the house


his mother steps forward

and takes his hand

welcome home George

she says


George stares at her

he nods but doesn't smile

he looks into the faces

of all those standing there

by the front door

as if amongst strangers


his father moves forward

and gently takes his son's arm


George moves forward uncertainly

his feet unsteady

his hands shaking slightly

his eyes move over the servants

wide and staring


then he stops

and points to Polly


he says softly

almost a mumble


she gazes at him

uncertain what to do


the mother looks at Polly

come help Polly

Master George recognizes you

and indicates

with her other hand

that she should come


so Poly walks

to George's side

and says nothing

but smiles at him

and he smiles back


we'll go to his room

the father says


a footman takes the bags

and follows George

and his parents and Polly

inside the house

and up the wide staircase


the other servants

including the butler Dudman

move away from the door

and go about their tasks


Dudman goes in

and stares at the party

walking upstairs slowly

and sighs


Polly has overstepped the line

as far as he is concerned

he'll have to watch her

he muses watching the party

disappear from the stairs

and gives the absent Polly

one of his cold stares.

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