rhapsodising on the GWR
rhapsodising on the G. W. R
(can the magic of old dreams be revived?)
I picture Vera pottering a garden
tending clumps of campion, arabis
she is wearing a battered panama
against the evening sun bake
bleaching the white-washed walls
of the cottage overlooking Carbis Bay
she once set her heart upon.
does she remember parasol picnics
in meadows of asphodel
wasps at our honey?
that time her was covered
by a shroud of ladybirds?
I took wine, but no corkscrew,
she said, ‘just push it through’,
a splash of Rose drenched the front
of her lacy white dress.
does she remember the first time
she told me she loved me?
the words bubbled out somewhere
along the shady winding path
leading to the fallen tree-trunk
where generations of lovers, lost in hopes,
sat and gazed at sunsets promising,
‘this moment, us, will last forever.’
nights under tartan rugs
beneath a willow’s cupola
of branches kissing the ground
Vera purring as she slept,
her breath brushing my face,
my breath warming hers.
we never touched
this was a sacred place.
if we met again
might we fall in love again?
can we relive magical days?
does she remember August days of picnics,
flowers, ladybirds, and butterflies,
the innocence of
naked morning swims in the meander
riverbed mud clutching our feet
a tickle of reeds snaking our toes?
Vera saw a water rat and screamed
it scuttled into a hole in the bank
I reached after the rat to show
there was nothing to fear.
she cleansed my blooded finger
with soda water.
we never bathed there again.
those days we needed little,
love alone was enough,
we never spoke our certainty
that children would follow.
the train enters a tunnel.
mirrored in the window
my face is gaunt
with age and desolation.
was the path ever as windy
the willow so homely
the meadow so perfumed
the wine as red
the stream so warm
as I remember?
perhaps Vera relives memories
of what we had before we parted
like we said we never would.
© coolhermit 2023
Nicely done. I like the fresh irony in this story which can be repeated over and over again. Perhaps ‘get over it’ is a good idea 🙂 This should bring a familiar tear or two to your audience if you present this.
I reckon this would work better as a paper read rather than a spoken piece – will kick it around a coupla times and see if it works 🙂