Delayed Postscript to Teenage Heartbreak

We trudged the grounds of a country house

      under a featureless sky

as stark trees bled out with morning rain

      and what light there was started to die,


and every time you grabbed for my hand

      I felt a little thrill,

unmentioned, ineffable.

      I’m glad to feel it still –


I spent half a life being bad at that.

      And here we were, noses to wind,

simply happy, which nobody is,

      but as close as I’ll ever find.


And in came her message. And later that night

      I looked at it, then at her profile:

smiley-faced. Husband gone. Three gorgeous kids.

      Was thinking of you! Been a while…


I’m planning a trip. You were so good at that –

      That’s why, I guess. You okay? xxx

What would you do? I tapped out Hello! x

      and wasn’t sure what else to say


so we messaged for hours, saying every last nothing.

      Her latest one sits in my phone,

unread and pointless. I wish her the best,

      I promise. I’m sad she’s alone


and claiming to like it. I’m glad she’s still there

      where little came right, nor would,

in the Lincolnshire village she’s never left,

      but which still makes her happy. I could


have stayed there too, raising bunnies (she loves them),

      and learned a local trade.

And I probably would’ve stayed, too. Christ!

      I probably would’ve stayed…