David Lewis Paget
Strange Meeting - Poem by David Lewis Paget
I saw him leaving the local bar
Under the street light glare,
And something about the way he walked
Turned my head, to stare,
He shuffled off with his shoulders slumped
And he dragged his feet in the rain,
His aura under the lamp was black,
All it gave out was pain.
The street was strangely familiar,
I heard him mutter and curse,
I followed him at a walking pace
I hadn't been there for years,
He paused in front of an iron gate,
And there, stood under a tree
Was the girl who'd broken my heart when I
Was barely twenty-three.
I held my breath for a moment there
My heart had skipped a beat,
I pushed down hard on my walking stick
And I stopped there, in the street,
She stared at him with a haughty smile
And she said, ‘I told you, No! '
Just as she'd said those words to me,
Fifty years ago.
He kicked the gate and he walked right in
Just as I'd done back then,
‘How can you say our love is lost,
Have you been with other men? '
I knew the answer would be the same
As she'd uttered long ago,
The words were burnt on my fevered brain,
‘I said, you have to go! '
‘Doesn't it mean a thing to you,
How can you be so cruel?
Tell me the truth, I know his name
You treat me like a fool! '
‘My life has nothing to do with you
Those days are done and gone,
I'm looking out for my future now,
The past is past, and done! '
He shook his head and he backed away
The tears welled in his eyes,
‘I'll always love you, ' I heard him say
And I thought, ‘that wasn't wise! '
I should have walked with a jaunty air
But in youth, we show our pain,
Not keep it buried beneath the years
Like an ever spreading stain.
I faced him as he came out the gate,
‘Forget her son, that's best,
Or she'll keep running on back to you
And she'll give you little rest.
Whenever her life is down, she'll cry
Bemoan her petty fate,
Then go and marry a banker, but
For you, it's much too late.'
He looked at me as he slammed the gate
And he pulled up, rather quick,
I vaguely remembered a man out there
A man with a walking stick,
He looked so old and he rambled, and
I listened impatiently,
And said, ‘What do you want, old man,
You've nothing to do with me! '
30 January 2013
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