Tony Jolley

Rookie (17th June 1958 / England)

The Latest Acquisition In The Library Of What Might Have Been - Poem by Tony Jolley

The puppy-cut had me fooled for a moment:
A blur of overly-lanky limbs
Rather than the usual shaggy Beardie-coat
To disguise the four pounding paws –
But there was no mistaking the lass on the end of the lead
Hurtling headlong toward her next ‘target’:
- The red car in 20 paces
- ‘Beat the Bus’ to the next stop
- Three lamp-posts in under 30 seconds:
My Hannah.

It all passed me by so quickly,
Seeming in slow-motion.
Do we really see it like that? …
Or are such impressions
The singular province of those of a ‘certain age’
For whom The Six Million Dollar Man
Resonates with an embarrassed (yet unadmitted) recognition?

Couldn’t say for sure why I didn’t shout:
- Worried ‘Hurricane Jenny’ would veer to my voice
And trail Hannah, helpless in her wake, into rush-hour harm’s way.
- Wondering what in the world to say after: “Hey! Titchey! ! ”
- Hoping against hope she wouldn’t just hear and hasten on home.
Don’t think my thoughts really ran that far
Before all the potential present in the moment passed its peak
To languish for evermore in the Library of What Might Have Been.

I didn’t see her face,
But she’s running faster these days.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, June 29, 2005

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