About Aoife

A wispy grey wind
teases my beard.
I sit on a mildewed bench, inscribed,
‘In loving memory of…’ 
but the name’s worn off –
on the snow-dusted granite hillside
rising high over town.
Streetlights prickle my eyes.
Vehicles snail the roadway
nose to tail.
The moon carves a stately
tranquil arc – I try to catch
the song of the spheres.
Something celestial
to cleanse my ears
of the insidious mephitic Babel
of street sounds:
giggles and screeching of drunken girls,
gorilla bellows of men and cursing,
raucous laughter, glasses breaking,
and snatches of music – pub karaoke,
Irish jigs on banshee fiddles,
thumping rock and roll,
that compose a dull cacophony.
The stars maintain silence.
The headlights of her bus, labouring the hill,
dazzle for a moment.
They breast the crown across the glen
then dip from sight.
making its own way home,  
the bus curves the bend,
negotiates the icy bridge –  
‘Be careful, that river’s frost-brittle,’
then moseys by the cemetery wall
into Top Street.
Aoife steps off.
Straightens her coat.
Her ice-steam breath billows
I stare at the cloud
forming scenarios.
She’s saying, ‘I’ve missed you so much, Darling,’
presenting a cheek for me to kiss.
Maybe her lips.
I’m taking her arm,
whispering love words
into her ear
as we walk to the ‘Century’
for an ‘oldie but goldie’
late-night screening,
Gone with the Wind
(with supporting feature).
It’s back to mine after,
glass of wine – warm bed – maybe sex.
Aoife’s friends rush to greet her.
They cluster her. They pat her back.
They hug her and they kiss her.
Stepping into the whooping throng
of Friday nighters,
she melts from view –
a fading spectral.
My redundant binoculars dangle.
My grey wisp beard
shivers in the wind.

© coolhermit 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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A lovely story with keenly observed descriptives. I loved it.

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