Nothing Else Could Matter - Poem by Terry Collett
Benedict sat in a pew
of the old church
while Jane arranged flowers
up at the altar end
with an older woman.
The church smelt of flowers
and damp and age.
Sunlight poured through
the coloured glass windows.
He sat and watched Jane
sort the vase, her fingers nimble,
her body slim, reaching up
to the take down vases,
the sunlight catching
Jane’s mother had told him
she was in the church
when he called
at the vicarage.
She won’t be long,
her mother had said.
He sniffed the air.
It had a churchy smell.
She arranged flowers with care,
her fingers patting into place,
her arms in constant motion.
The other woman
having completed her tasks
left the church.
Jane came and sat beside him.
Looks good doesn’t it, she said.
Yes it does, he said.
She smelt of fresh apples,
he thought of orchards,
sunlight, warm days.
She leaned in and kissed his cheek,
her lips moist, warm.
He put his hand on her thigh,
sensed the pulse of her.
Let’s go out in the daylight, she said.
They walked out of the church
and along the path to the lane
hand in hand.
I’ve just go to go home
for a minute for something,
she said and he followed her
to the vicarage
and waited outside.
After a few minutes she was out
and they walked along the lane.
The hedgerows were brimming with birds,
their songs and chatter filled the air.
It was never like this in London,
he said. Never this freshness,
never nature so near and alive.
I’ve only known this, she said,
this countryside, the small local town,
the cows and fields, the open sky.
Must seem odd to you the contrast.
He looked at her; her hair dark
and free from constraints,
her eyes dark, catching sunlight.
Yes, it is, he said, like escaping Hell
and finding paradise. She smiled.
With or without me? she said.
You’re the icing on the cake,
the angel that makes
it all seem worthwhile. She laughed.
You have such a way with words.
They passed the water tower;
cows mooed in a nearby field.
She put her arm around his waist
and kissed his neck. They stopped
in the lane. Momentarily it seemed
as if the birds had ceased to sing
or chatter; as if the sky had exploded
with colour. He kissed her and held her.
Their 13 year old lips met.
This was paradise, he thought,
nothing else could matter.
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