Patrick William Kavanagh
Chance Encounters - Poem by Patrick William Kavanagh
What a charming couple, almost regal as they walked into the crowded room,
Unaware, the merry drunken group just seemed to leave a quiet space around them as they moved.
I couldn't help but stare, a little rude, but still their ageless beauty held me in its sway,
They caught my eye, and even when I tried,
I couldn't look away.
Oh God! They're coming over!
Breathless, I could feel my face on fire,
Feeling foolishly alarmed, I checked my clothes, I almost touched my hair.
Suddenly they're here, a proffered hand, a hug, a cloud of strange and overpowering scent,
and part of me has sold my soul in bondage to their overwhelming charm,
My better part just wants to run away, but can't.
They seem to know me well, my name, my hobbies and my friends.
The evening flies, I speak to no one else but them,
Perhaps I drank too much, I cannot tell'
The time evaporated in a timeless haze of pampered petting,
as they groomed my vanity and stroked my ego like a favoured cat.
They drove me home and left me at my gate,
And That! , I thought, was That!
But, Faintly I remember, as I drifted off to sleep,
A sense of Presence in the room, a pungent flowery smell,
a quiet voice reminded me of promises to keep,
But what those promises could be I cannot really tell,
I only know I tossed and turned, my body filled with strange unnatural desires,
By morning I was certain, that only they, and they alone,
could quench these hellish fires.
Next evening as I took my usual walk out in the woods,
I wandered past a densely crowded copse of trees,
and there they stood.
I wasn't scared,
More like the tense acceptance of a deer that's caught by wolves,
I knew I couldn't walk right past,
No Point. My heart was even then completely in their grasp.
Molten bones and watery blood, and still just like a moth to flame,
No pretence at conversation, not a single word was spoken,
Somewhere in that long and torrid night,
my puny, selfish, avaricious will had broken,
So they took me, as they wished, they seemed to see it as their right,
I cannot tell what happened on the forest floor, I’ve tried, but words just fail me,
Just a world of terror, pain and passion, an endless age of lust and fright.
The kind old Padre wants to lock the doors,
I'm clinging to the altar rails,
I dare not leave this church tonight.
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