In forty years’ time she might remember
this night, and her shy confidence
as she stood, smoothing the gloss
on her shoulder-length bob, settling
her very dark eyebrows and her tiny
pink cardigan, to speak of her Collection.

How she opened the gilt-edged
exercise book and read songs of innocence:
lines on childhood, and life, and loves, and
her own beauty. She could have been the first
to express such thoughts in such a particular
way ─ maybe the first to think them.

Perhaps she’ll remember the boy,
his crest of bleached hair, white
shirt buttoned at the Adam’s apple, the dim
glimmer of his earring, and possibly
his trousers and the slackness
of his mouth. But most of all

she’ll surely think of his mooning eyes
fastened to her face like those little
green cleavers you find caught in your
spaniel’s ears and which you have to
work hard at removing for years and years
and years.

© Jo field