Cinnamon and Brie

from me book

Rachel’s hair was soft
With auburn-red waves 
Flowing to her waist
(She could sit on it)
And a delicate scent
Reminiscent to me of
Cinnamon and brie.
Her smile lit up the faces
Of the friends
On whom she bestowed it,
It never shone on mine.
I was out of her league,
An ‘insignificant other’.
She skipped the streets,
Carefree, singing, clapping, dancing,
She never noticed me.
But, in the tunnels of my imagination
She danced and sang – just for me.
In dreams I called to angels
And Rachel was there
In dreams I jumped from high walls
And cliff-tops by the sea
Rachel’s arms opened to catch me,
In dreams.
In dreams she laid me down
Gently, brushed my forehead
With cool love lips and whispered,
“Goodnight, Darling. Sweet dreams.”
In dreams.
Though we walked different paths,
Separated ways,
She remained, a glimmering
In the album of my fantasies
Snacking lunch on Filey prom.
Mackerel, pasta, olives and cheese.
Fending off seagulls – the devil’s harpies
A hint of cinnamon and brie
Awakened mildewed memories.
Rachel’s face appeared,
Behind her hand, curled as a claw,
“Spare change for bus fare?”
I gave her the remains of my lunch
And a couple of pounds –
But she needed more
Much, much more.
We drank tea outside the Shuga Shak
Her hands hugged the mug
For the warmth within.
“What do they call you?”
I ignored the lie,
She was dying
Or had, inside,
Already died.
I mentioned teenage friends.
Names from shared history,
Her eyes brightened briefly.
Then my name too,
She shook her head,
“No. I don’t remember him. Who?”
“Any family… Lexi?”
She chewed a jagged fingernail.
Nibbled a split-end strand of hair
Mumbled, ‘toddler in care’
Adding a stillbirth
And a termination.
A storm blew in
I drove her back to mine
Offering my guest-room
For the night to keep her dry and
A change of clothes –
In place of the rags she was wearing –
She shrugged – long long past caring. 
She bathed, and put a flower
In her shampooed, brittle,
Once-lustrous red hair
That had tumbled to her waist
And she could sit on.
The years fell off her,
The pains slipped away
She regained the glow
Quashed so many tragedies ago.
We ate supper,
Drank a little wine.
She laughed,
We sang teenage hits
“I have to sleep, I’m past exhausted.”
I plumped her pillows,
Straightened the bed
Gently kissed her forehead.
“Goodnight, Rachel, darling. Sweet dreams.”
I found her next morning
Sitting upright,
Empty arms cradling
As if catching, and nursing,
A falling baby.
Still warm
No pulse
Quite dead.
And on her face
A broken-toothed smile
That lit up my face.






© coolhermit 2022
Views: 2250
critique and comments welcome.
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An interesting story, enjoyed the read…Tony


pithy loads of inspiration. thanks for sharing.


Crikey, that was pretty powerful stuff (and just like Mr Kipling’s cakes).


A very enjoyable read and very touching.What sort of buses do you have at Filey,that give you that inspiration?Thank you for sharing..Peter

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