and I have to laugh too because her laughter is so infectious we lie in the field of tall grass holding hands gazing at the blue sky birds flying overhead butterflies fluttering past Where did hear that joke? she asks still laughing It's an old Max Miller joke I reply But it's rude she says gazing at me It's little more than a seaside postcard kind of pun I say How do you mean? she says Well it can be both innocent and not depending how it is interpreted I say But it sounds rude she says Only if you read it so I say she looks at me intently Are you saying I have a ***** mind? she says No of course not I say I assume you read it wrong I say she smiles and begins to laugh again and so do I both gazing at the skies with tears in our eyes.
she'd take me home with her lunchtime. Her mother had said it was all right as she would be there. I couldn't wait for the boring lessons that morning in school to end. I won't be able to take you to my room, though, she said, despondently. I had met her old lady a month or so before; she suffered from depression, so Yiska said. I doubted she'd get to show me her room again. She did once, but then her mother came back from shopping early, and we went downstairs just as her old lady entered the kitchen. When the last lesson of maths ended, I made my way to the gate and waited for her. I wondered what sort of sandwiches her old lady had prepared for lunch. Last time it was crab paste with lettuce. She'd cut them up in small neat triangles. I hoped it wasn't crab paste again. As Yiska came towards me, it began to rain.
She sees the moon
in the corner of her window like a ghostly galleon (as Tennyson said she recalls) riding slow by dark clouds of the night. She wishes Benny was there to see the sight. There beside her on her bed her pillow to share with his head. His hand holding hers beneath the covers innocent no rampant lovers. His lips to kiss her cheek and lips and hand never to kiss on her never-never land. To embrace to be close gazing face to face. But he is at home a mile away sleeping in his own bed or watching the moon like her from his window instead. She sighs and closes the curtains on the ghostly galleon as Tennyson said and kisses and embraces Benny inside her head.
John is on the playing field
with other boys, says Sheila, I am too shy to talk to him now; I watch him from a distance by the wire fence, my nerves on edge wanting him alone. Other girls pass me by on to the field; they giggle and laugh loudly on their way. I watch him as he sits and talks, take in his gesturing hands and laughter. I saw him that time in the playground when it rained and the sun shone and he said about a monkey's wedding. I think of him often in the day: from early dawn until bed at night. He is alone now, the other boys have gone, I hesitate to walk to where he sits; my nerves are taut and still I wait; he rises and walks away: too late.
Can I bring him
home for lunch? Yiska asked. When? I need notice; can't have you bringing him home without I know. Her mother was at the kitchen sink. Yiska ate her breakfast, studying her mother's back. Tomorrow, then? She paused eating. As long as you don't make a habit of it. Her mother turned and stared at her. Don't see why you need to bring the boy home for lunch; can't he get lunch at the school? Yiska stared at her mother. Just so you can meet him. Her mother raised an eyebrow. Why do I need to meet him? You're too young for boys. Her mother turned away again; busied herself at the sink. He's only one boy, not boys. Yiska ate again. The ashtray was full of cigarette ends; some with lipstick on the tips. Just this once; no funny business. Yiska gazed at her mother's hair tied in a bun at the back. Funny business? What do you mean funny business? Her mother's shoulders tensed. You know what I mean. Yiska sipped the luke-warm tea. Tomorrow, then? Her mother nodded her head and switched on the radio. Music oozed out. Yiska mused on Benny and tomorrow for lunch. Shame her mother would be there. She sipped the last of the tea and left the kitchen to get ready for school. Just the once: her mother called out; a half whisper, half shout.
I liked the way you sat
on the grass; the way your feet where hidden beneath your dress; the way you looked at me as I approached. I liked how your small bulbs pushed out firm against your blouse; how your lips moved to bring me words; how your eyes lit up when I sat down and kissed your cheek. I liked how you took my hand in yours; how you placed it on your thigh; how you sighed when I touched you where. I liked the youth of us back then; liked how tomorrow was put aside; how no matter how I tried I never got to be inside. I liked to remember you as you were; how time seemed not to move before out eyes; how I kissed you and spoke a hundred lies.
The church is still there
at the end of the narrow road, the high hedgerows and the vicarage remain pretty much the same, but you are not, for you lie in another place of rest than this, although I don't know where. The inside is as it was, the choir stalls where we sang all those years ago, are as they were although seeming smaller, the ***** is silent now, but still where it was when the semi-deaf organist played back then. I look around me as I stand; the same smell old churches have, coloured light through the windows, the lectern where the vicar spoke (sometimes too long), and the wooden pews where the aging congregation sat and listened or fell asleep. I walk around the church outside and pass old tombstones aged by time, cross the small wooden bridge where we once stood and watched the water pass below or kissed in moonlight after choir before the ride home. I stand alone now and you elsewhere, cancer's hold took you down your brother said, that time he met me in the town, sometime after. I hear birdsong and wind in trees, but not your laughter.
at the front of the class. I watch you from the back of the class your dark hair shiny smooth your pale skin fine features and those eyes that wash me. I wish I sat next to you elbow to elbow sensing you next to me your slim thigh there beneath the school desk. The teacher rattles on about maths Algebra or such things. I see your fine profile as you turn your head round following the teacher as he walks at the front. I drink you like a drug sampling like nectar of some rare flowering open bloom. I see your slim figure partially obscured by the plump girl behind you just enough to move eyes to your waist. I sit here dumbly numb watching you from the rear wishing that I was there beside you my dream dear.
at the falling rain. It seemed endless from sky to earth. Out in the playground nothing stirred. Behind her in the assembly hall other kids were bored as she was and walked in pairs or groups or sat on the stage and played cards or make believe strip-poker. Benny saw her and placed hands over her eyes from behind. "Guess who?" He said. "Elvis Presley" she said turning round and taking his hands in hers. "He couldn't make it so sent me instead" Benny said. "Look at it" she said "hasn't stopped all morning." He stood beside her looking out. "No place to go to be alone" he said. "I know a room we could hide in" she said. He looked at her. "Not the gym it's crowded" he said. She took his hand and semi-dragged him across the hall and out into the busy corridor. He followed her as she made her way through the crowds of kids. She turned right and down stairs that led to store rooms and an unused classroom. He followed her in and she closed the door. "Just right" she said. He looked around the empty classroom. There were old desks and chairs and a cupboard over in a corner. "How did you find this place?" He said. "By Chance" she said "saw old Piper come in here once a few months back." The room was dim but warm. She pulled him to her and they kissed. She put her arms about him and placed a hand at the back of his head and held him close kissing. He sensed her body against his. His right hand touched her thigh and his left touched the outline of her bra. The bell sounded about them but sounding not near but far away thus ending the kissing for the day.
On the way
to the science room for biology with Rolland by my side passing other pupils going the opposite way I saw you by the tuck shop doorway and you beckoned me over and so told Rolland to go on. It was a small nook and semi-dark. If we're seen we're for it I said. You drew me into the nook and quickly kissed and held me close. I sensed your body firm against mine with your soft fruits and curves and bits. Needed that you said and after kissing once again we parted you to double maths and me to biology and moths and butterflies and their evolution and that ***** but I would rather learn biology and such with you at night.