Back in Elder Days, in the 1970s
rough-filtered ale from Silvester Street
trundled round the streets of Hull
tankers decanting to giant Zoological jars
Even before Council put cunting fareboxes
in Corporation buses out Foster Street
I knew two women, art students
top rankin' lasses, Anthea and Donna
Donna was my first love, really,
never had the bottle to say owt to her
(mutual in hindsight, she only made it obvious
rather than saying, or grabbing hold …)
Came so close, one time sat in my car
at Spurn after carting a carful there,
could I break my self-defined self-isolation
and fear and presumption of rejection?
Could I fuck!
Just once, we were far apart at a party
from front room saw her about to leave
in the hallway disinhibited by too much beer
went to her and asked, might we kiss?
Remembering, forty year on, her answer
her lips glad sharing I still, now, despair
at foolish fear and un-needed frustration
for it never happened again …
Still wonder, sometimes, what might've been
had I not been so thoroughly broken
nowt most likely, given what came after
relationships made I then spoiled
We met once decades on, she revisiting Hull
me in Pearson Park with my then partner
Spark still there, but the time had passed.
We chatted for a bit, and then moved on
[ 21st July 2016, revised 15th-22nd December ]