chance meeting with a retro muse

 

it was a year or so since I saw Oonagh
 
there had been other muses
but she was, still is,
my non plus ultra.
 
she was the heart of many works with
a dozen names in a dozen guises
I often wondered if she realised
how much she figured in my writing.
 
I told Oonagh I loved her dearly,
 
‘I love you too, but brotherly.’
 
our only date?
a theatre night watching
a mutual favourite – Macbeth.
 
she wore a green velvet dress,
and a necklace of Whitby jet.
 
sitting beside her
I glowed, entranced,
not even daring
to brush her hand.
 
my one-way ‘love’ was unsustainable,  
its sudden end predictable.
 
no one was to blame,
how can souls combine?
 
that takes a miracle –
and there’s never a shaman
around when you need one.
 
I burned the love letters
too passionate to post
and books of notes about her
tears washed the coils of smoke
from my eyes as I poked
into the flames, watching
all that remained of
my obsession slowly
turn to charcoal ash.
 
Oonagh reduced to  
a ghost from my past.
 
but then I glimpsed her
sitting on my bus.
 
she turned her face away,
intently window-gazing,
playing the ‘I didn’t see you’ game.
 
at the terminus
she looked much smaller
she looked much older
she looked much frailer
her face much sadder 
than I remembered.
 
‘hello, Oonagh, you’re looking well.’
 ‘thank you. I got your book you sent me.’
‘you’re Rita in the opener.’
‘I figured that. the book’s quite good…’
‘thanks a lot. I’m glad you like it.’
‘… at least it’s better than your others.’
 
a long pause.
 
peck on the cheek?
open old sores?
or walk away?
 
I reached out a hand.
she walked away.
 
 
 

© coolhermit 2020
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Guaj

You paint a picture of unrequited love in words with this sad but excellent poem.

Guaj

I’m working on that 😉

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