David Lewis Paget
End Game - Poem by David Lewis Paget
I swore I’d be always single, that
I’d ever be fancy free,
My friends went off to be married, but
I knew that wasn’t for me,
I’d have my fun with the single ones
Then I’d always walk away,
The moment they got too serious
I’d say, ‘No, not today! ’
I thought I could get away with it
And I did, for seventeen years,
If any were loth to go with me
I’d serenade them in verse,
The single ranks became thinner as
They aged, each fell off the tree,
And what was left were much younger then
And they sure weren’t looking at me.
I stopped to look in the mirror once
And I saw what I had feared,
A touch of white at my temples and
A grey patch in my beard,
The lines that rippled my forehead matched
The sunken look of my cheek,
And these had spread as the days had fled,
As the days passed, week by week.
I got invited to parties as
The single guy on the block,
So I could balance the numbers if
A girl turned up, ad hoc,
The girls I’d dated were there in force
With husbands near at hand,
They kept their eyes on the single girls
With seductive contraband.
I must admit, it wasn’t much fun
As I found myself alone,
I’d take the car to a lively bar
When I felt the urge to roam,
The women were more than desperate
When they reached a certain age,
And those that clung would have you hung
In their own domestic cage.
About this time I met a woman
Adrift on the party scene,
She’d not been married or twice divorced
So I asked her name, Jeanine,
We danced together, I held her close
And I thought that she was nice,
She said she’d dated a hundred men
But she never dated twice.
The more we chatted the more I found
That Jeanine was just like me,
She was like a mirror image of
The person I’d tried to be,
I’d thought she might come home with me
But she had a different plan,
‘Tonight just isn’t your lucky night,
I’m going on home with Dan.’
And that was the very moment that
I felt the first remorse,
I’d lost control of the game plan and
Events would take their course,
I’d lived my life in a selfish way
And at last, I thought, I see,
The pain that I’d put on others, now
Jeanine was putting on me.
But fate has a habit of playing tricks
And the tricks it plays aren’t nice,
I’d see her out in the shopping mall
With a number of different guys,
We’d see each other and say hello
But there wasn’t much to say,
While her single date for the moment stood
Confused, and looked away.
It had to come to a head, for we
Had never been on a date,
The more I saw her out and about
It had to be more than fate.
I knew that I’d only get one shot
For Jeanine was much like me,
Too scared to become committed
Chasing her youth, desperately.
One day she agreed to go on a date
And she asked me, ‘Where will we go? ’
‘Not to a bar or restaurant,
Not to a movie show.
We’ve both had enough of the party scene
So I’m taking you down to the lake…’
We sat on a wooden bench in the park
And fed the ducks and the drake.
The swans went by with their cygnets and
The goslings went with the geese,
I held her hand and we broke the bread
And revelled in perfect peace,
We took a pizza out to the park
And ate it under the stars,
We’ve not been apart a day since then
And we never go out to bars.
6 May 2013
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