Hugging Lauren – WOMAD (1990)

Hugging Lauren at WOMAD (1990)
 
Solitary – wrapped in the frosted isolation
of a magnolia tricked into blossoming early,
slow-turning to swirling Qawwali ghazals
borne on the breeze from a distant marquee:
Willing herself into another time, another place…
home best of all stroking Beefheart the cat,
Lauren wandered the litter-strewn showground
wistfully wishing the whining children
wanting chocolate this time not carob
in matching hemp weaves their parents wore
were hers. Then… on reflection… not.
 
She spotted a silhouette – a man she knew – smoking
watching whorls of mist uncoil from the river,
high and dry and just been dumped,
pondering the prospect of ending it all – jumping in –
his jagged loneliness mirrored her own.
‘I didn’t expect to see you here.’
‘Need a hug? Cos I effin’ do.’
They embraced for timeless moments… kissed… unclasped…  
As the afterglow faded he wiped his eyes.
Melting into the crowd, with thoughts of Beefheart,
Lauren wiped hers.
 
Afterword:
 
Twenty summers after, he stepped
from rowdy strangers’ kitchen clamour  
into an oasis patch where Lauren stood smoking
contemplating mortality – the ‘end of all things.’
‘Party too much for you?’
‘Not very good with crowds.’
‘Me neither.’
Lauren stubbed her cigarette.
Inviting arms spread. For a handful of seconds
they were on the bank of the Thames again
forlorn on a carpet of festival flotsam.
 
Still forlorn.
 
Still.  
 
 
 
 
 

© coolhermit 2020
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