you said
but Fay's father


ignored you
on the stairs
of the block of flats


you were only trying
to make peace with him
because of Fay


but he wasn't
buying into any Jewism
as he termed it


forgetting that
his Jesus said head
of his Catholic Church


was a Jew himself
but that was
another matter


so you let him go
on his way
up the stairs


humming some
Latin hymn to himself
later seeing Fay


on the way
to the grocer's shop
through the Square


she said her father
had forbidden her
to even talk with you


(the Jew Boy
he had said)
but she knew it was 


impossible even
if she wanted to
which she didn't


despite the risk
she ran in seeing you
or talking with you


I only said shalom to him
you said
she frowned


it means peace
you said
I could have said


something else to him
less friendly
she smiled weakly


best say nothing
she said


you said
so you walked with her
to the grocer's shop


across the road
and along to the grocer's shop
by the newspaper shop


where they had
The Three Musketeers book
in the window


which you wanted
to buy at sometime
and you showed her


the book and the cover
with a picture
of three musketeers


sword fighting
and you walked on
to the grocers


and she bought
what was on her list
and you got


what your mother
had written
on a small scrap of paper


and afterwards you said
how about a penny drink
at the Penny shop?


and she looked anxious
and said
not sure Dad  said


not to linger around
well don't linger
you said


but have a drink
and we can sit
by the wall outside


and see the world go by
and sip our drinks
she hesitated


but then said
so you took her

to the Penny shop
and bought two bottles
of penny pop


and sat outside
by the wall
your shopping bags


beside you
the morning sun
blessing your heads


and she talked
of the nuns
at her school


how strict they were
but one she said
was kind


and taught her
the Credo in Latin
word by word


and you sat
listening to her
and she sitting there


momentarily free
like an uncaged
song bird.

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