By The Red Brick Wall - Poem by jim hogg
Immune to age was how it looked,
as if the books of time were cooked,
to those with luck enough to share
some part of you. Your 40s hair
and filmstar looks had me well hooked
from the start. I tried not to stare
and to play it cool and free, but,
a rising flame and rising fear
saw me rambling on like a nut-
job through the words you had to hear.
And not one eyelid did you bat
as you took my hand and we sat
on the steps of the old school gym,
you in grey and white and me in
another world, a Cheshire cat
in cream so deep I had to swim.
And so it stayed for months on end.
But all of us who wanted you,
we had no sense of time back then.
We all did what we had to do,
always with one eye on the days
that lay ahead, where the long chase
of the lives we dreamt of, would lead.
And, what we had soon went to seed.
By the red brick wall, face to face,
in streaming tears we took our leave.
As for loving you, I couldn't
help myself. It was obvious.
And I blamed - because it suited -
events beyond the two of us.
And twenty years would pass before
we met again and briefly spoke.
The usual stuff came flooding back.
It was ninety two, at the track,
and we'd no time for chat of course,
then, or later in the crowded bar
of the pub where we last met, dear,
when time was short and moving on:
much faster than we dared to fear,
‘til word was out that you were gone.
Superlatives were the first thing
I reached for when the news came in,
though you were never one who paid
the slightest attention to praise.
But, when the bells began to ring,
the throng that gathered in your name
for decency and humble strength -
and not your startling looks at all
for which both men and women fell -
was proof enough of what we'd lost.
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