BED TIME LONELY.
Polly wants to sleep more, but the bell from the church tells it's time to get up. Susie's beside her, just beginning to wake, opening her eyes. She smiles that stupid smile, Polly thinks, remembering her cold feet against her legs in the night, her arms about her waist. If only it was Master George's hands about her waist, his feet on her legs. But he is at war, some cold wet trench. Susie sits up says something about wanting to turn over and go back to sleep. Polly tries to push thoughts of the day ahead from her mind. A maid's work is never done. Fires to start, cleaning to begin, breakfasts to help prepare, on beck and call. If only Master George was home, she could look forward to his bed at night, his arms about her, his lips on her skin. Susie looks at Polly.
She had managed to get her arms around Polly's waist, feel her skin on hers. She had wanted to kiss her neck, but refrained. Temptations always there. Watching her undress at night getting ready for bed, seeing her standing there, semi bare, waiting there. She remembers her lips being just inches from Polly's back, her lips wanting to settle on Polly's shoulder. Polly sits up, pushes the blankets back, and sits on the edge of the double bed. Feet dangle, hands in lap. The chill air about her. The wash basin on the washstand. Break the ice in the jug, cold wash. Pee first in the chamber pot under the bed. Susie watches Polly's back, the way her body narrows in at the waist, her bottom on the bed, her hands in the lap. She sighs softly. Polly gets out the chamber pot and squats. Susie looks away. Closes her eyes. She can hear
the musical sounds of water on metal ring. She kissed Polly's arm once (pretended she was sleeping) Polly pushed her lips away, muttered words. If only she'd let her kiss her just the once. She could store it away and bring it out and relive it each day. Polly stands up and goes to the washstand and breaks the ice in the jug, pours water in the basin, washes quickly. Susie watches, eyes searching Polly, taking in each aspect of her, each inch of skin. If only Polly would relent and let her in. Polly dries on the rough white towel, face, neck, arms and hands. She peers out of the attic window. Cold dawn. Light beginning. If only Master George was in bed instead of Susie, if only, then she wouldn't be so fed up and bed time lonely.