What was the draw that brought us here,
Well, for one, we were
rural-remote and chasm bored.
Our Xanadu –
a slope of woodland trees
embraced by hewn stone graves.
Above – a waning moon.
Below – the safety of our homes.
There’s some fun in fear.
The church, the porch,
the walk back all alone.
Me and you,
(us round-the-corner friends)
were chattery and keen,
eager for life to begin
beyond the stretched out fields
that kept us in.
Half-starved of drama,
we spun a thousand lurid tales
to wrap our girlish limbs up in.
So when, at Fountain Corner,
two brothers, as in a fairy-tale,
we shape-shifted them,
into the shadow boys we’d made.
One was our Heathcliff:
boarding school exotic
returning to his father’s house –
bored and apathetic.
And the other? What of him?
Mature beyond his years
and Lycra clad.
We sniggered at his nerdy ways
and how he joined in with our games.
We found this almost-man quite strange
but in our fickle teenage way,
we liked him all the same.
And so it feels wrong when,
thirty-odd years on,
sat at my writing desk,
I read that he is dead.
I quickly click your message closed.
And let the distant wind gust in:
bringing long lost Autumn leaves
and cold October teenage dreams
to chill my bones and flush my cheeks.
Our Xanadu –
no stately pleasure dome:
no sex, no drink, no cigarettes.
Just a strange and stretched out time,
where, on the dark horizon,
(from far beyond our mocking smiles)
we watched him watch his two suns rising.