COUNTRYSIDE

SPOIL HER FUN.

Lizbeth insisted
on us going
to the small church again

 

we walked
as she had parked
her bike
by the shed door
at the back
of the cottage

 

it seems longer
when you walk it
she said

 

same length
different speed
I said

 

she'd put on
her short black dress
for some reason
not fitting
for this kind
of countryside
her shoes had mud
on them already
where a tractor
had deposited it
all along
the narrow road

 

don't you have
buses here?
she asked

 

once a week
I said
Saturdays
2 hours
to do your shopping
in town
then back

 

2 hours?
she said
I need longer
than that to shop

 

that's all there is
I said

 

I hate the countryside
she said
the smell
the quiet
the emptiness
the silly blue sky
and those puffy
white clouds
she seemed annoyed
Benny
how do you stick it?

 

it's ok
I like it
it has a sense
of peace here
and there are birds
to study and butterflies

 

O my god
Lizbeth said
I’d die
of boredom here
you'd find me stiff
in some corn field
or whatever shit
grows in these fields

 

we walked on
in a uneasy silence
for a while

 

what's she like?
Lizbeth said

 

who?
I asked

 

that girl
who lives near you
the girl with
the long straight black hair
and a face like a virgin

 

I knew who she meant
but I said nothing
but pretended
not to know
she lives near me?
I said

 

yes
well she gets on
your school van
in the mornings
and afternoons
always dresses
like she's going
to a funeral
I see her
in the girl's playground
little Miss No Mates

 

O you mean Jane
I said
she's good
we have long walks together
and she knows a lot
about nature and birds
and butterflies and beetles
and so on

 

you walk with her?
Lizbeth said

 

sure
we often go for walks
when its fine and warm

 

what do you do?
is she up for it?

 

up for what?

 

you know
sex?
Lizbeth spat out
the last word
as if
it were too hot
for her tongue

 

we don't think
about that
kind of thing
I said

 

Lizbeth looked at me
with raised eyebrows
thought not
she said

 

we walked up
the narrow lane
to the church
sunlight warming
our heads and backs

 

if the church is empty
maybe we can
she said

 

can what?
I said

 

you know
have S E X

 

I looked
at the church
appearing above
the hedgerow
and hoped to God
someone was there
some visitor
or vicar
or anyone
to save my day
and stop her fun.

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SUN BLESSED

Jane opened her hands
and the butterfly
fluttered off

 

across the grass
and you watched
and she told you

 

what its name was
and its colouring
but you

 

were more focused
on her hands
the fingers held so

 

as if Michaelangelo
might have
painted them

 

in a creative urge
to pin down
an example

 

of beauty
and as her voice
spoke on

 

you saw the hands
come together
and embrace

 

and caress
each other
as you both walked

 

along the lane
between
high hedges

 

first this finger pointed
then that
gesturing towards

 

this flower
then that
names came

 

and colouring
and her voice sang
as she talked

 

the words
being flung
in the air

 

like a juggler's balls
and you reached out
to catch each word

 

and place
its meaning
but her eyes

 

caught you
the colour
the brightness

 

and fires flamed there
and they grow
only here

 

she said
so I’ve read
her words said

 

and the lips parted
just to allow
words to go

 

like busy bees
to work
and the glimpse

 

of teeth and tongue
and what do you think?
she said

 

beautiful stuff
you replied
not quite

 

the words
you wished for
but which came

 

like lazy boy's
to school
they are

 

she said smiling
her hands parting
one reaching

 

for yours
O that
may have been Heaven

 

for all you knew
a bright
sun-blessed smile

out of the blue.

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