you know

when you know

in an instant

she came around

took one look said

you’ve not got much

eh?

& I knew

this one would not

be around long

well babe I said back

whipcrack

you should’ve seen

where I started from

offered to drive her home

thanked her all nice

for the time she’d given

but as often the way

with those

who got a lot

she did not notice

what that meant

waits by the big oak

got away

from the green fields

lying under the oak

sitting as a teen boy

smoking dope

sipping on stolen wine

kissing the girl

thought everything

was just great

taking all I could take

from this sleepy town

wanted to show her life outside

instead she wanted babies

had a series of men

who loved her at night

but not in the day

until she got the cancer

went on

now she waits by the big oak

waiting waiting forever

for me to come by

again

darker days

nights even the rough girls

would need me to leave

before they’d blow

all the other guys in the room

some set of face

dark shadow forecast

maybe I didn’t hide the distaste

true feelings about who

what they were or did

but the guys would say

time to go friend

or else she won’t play

so much for solidarity

honour amongst thieves

eh?

forgotten to nurture

another one gone

was how I got to feel

after a while

but that first one

the second

mebbe even the third

pulled my head around

left me walking wounded

unable to sleep eat

look after myself

in any meaningful way

a roar between the ears

aching deep in my gut

feeling foolish as anyone can

letting the pretty bird

I’d forgotten to nurture

flutter away

driven by blood

she remembers me she says

as a rude boy

wanting to kiss take her outside

do rude things there

in the dark

while I vaguely remember her

as one of those wanting dances

drinks to be bought to disappear

at the end of the night

I offer some vague apology

suggest soft as I can

this was driven by blood & youth

could not then articulate my needs

not that I can do that much better now

was offering affection

the only way I knew how

I notice too

she has no soft words

for her own behaviour

in those times

not there yet

I took the longest time

coming in from the cold

avoiding people

interactions the places

people go to meet

not quite getting the signals

misunderstanding the simple

it seemed there was a code

everybody else had clues to

& I didn’t have the key

I tried beyond anything

those around me knew

my mewlings seemed another

language dialect speech pattern

nobody had any idea to what

I was rambling on about

so again I withdrew

& I’m still trying to come in

out of the cold slow unsteady

pushing on only too aware

I’m not there yet