Lazing in this old frame tent
on a sultry April noon,
drifting mentally, watching
faded canvas the colour of pale sun
rippling gently in a spring breeze,
shaping visions, absurdly out of time,
evoking bitter-sweet memories
of days long-gone.
In a deep Welsh valley ages ago,
midnight thunder crashing overhead,
casting stark, darting shadows
of lovers writhing
onto yellow fabric walls.
An intense moment of rapture
amid tedium of endless exams.
'Quick!' You called me to the door.
There, I saw a glowing ball
of electricity bounce across the field.
Then the sky burst open
and a flaming fork
sliced in two a mighty oak.
I wept, a decision finalised.
It seemed to me an omen.
You held me then
so close I felt your heart
still pounding from our love
(or had you read my thoughts)?
Misunderstanding, you whispered
'It's OK, I'll love you all my life!'
Squirming with guilt, I pulled away.
Two weeks later I had gone.
I suppose I should've left a note,
but how could I admit
to casting aside my first real love
on an egocentric whim?
A heavenly face and seductive words
had filled a naive head
with erotic needs and fantasies
I simply had to fulfil.
Soon his long-suffering wife
made her presence felt.
With cheekbone bruised and ego flat
I crawled back home to you.
But, alas, I found you'd gone away,
so I sat on the step and cried.
Then brief encounters became my life
for none compared to you.
Now many long years have passed
since last I saw your face.
Time has stolen our tender love
and faded youthful dreams.
Like an ancient photo in monochrome,
they've turned a ghostly grey;
and hormonal rush of first love
is lost to me today.
Yet, lying here now in this old tent,
I can almost, nearly touch
your time-honoured phantom rising
from the shadows, a promise fulfilled.
Adrenaline's pumping, senses acute,
you're so near I can feel your breath;
and long flowing curls caress my face
as you bend to kiss me again.
A car horn blasts, and you've disappeared
as abruptly as you came.
Watery cloud engulfs the sun
and I suddenly feel alone.
An urge to move on drives me inside
where, armed with coffee cup,
I snuggle under the duvet
to watch a movie I love.