A Day Out With Aoife

A Day Out with Aoife
Two ‘Seaside Special’ day returns
to ‘Kiss me Quick’ and candyfloss;
I was looking forward to the
“Pirate Cruise around the bay (no extra).”
A shuddering halt – somewhere
in the middle of nowhere –
unruly livestock blocked the line.
Aoife giggled, ‘Let’s explore.’
We walked an ancient track-way:
the lane, an overgrown 
cathedral of stunted trees
was empty. Silent. But for
stubborn cattle’s sullen
responses to footplate curses.
And a blackbird singing from a gnarly oak.
Aoife exulted, ‘we could be in Sligo’ 
before ducking through the wayside
soft-jungle hedgerow to tail
a butterfly’s dancing zephyr trail.
I followed her fluting laugh
filtering through the undergrowth.
Every step pressed virgin grass as
we clambered upward hand-in-hand past
hawthorn and gorse bush tangle alike
before, breathless, bathing
in sudden blazing cliff top sunlight. 
On the horizon – a galleon.
Across the bay a skimming
speedboat scored the waves.
Aoife broke silence, singing,   
‘My Heart is in the Highlands.’
I thought back to how
my heart was planted,
half a life ago,
in Aberfeldy
but then uprooted
when J—- preferred a
better man than me.
Aoife reached across
placing cooling lips
on my sunburned cheek.
I wiped a ‘wedding’ 
tear and squeezed her hand.
‘This is a wonder – we’ll come here a lot…
watching our footmarks turn into a path.’

© coolhermit 2023
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