He took two planes first,
then caught a train taking him
from one country to the next
and finally rode a bus
up into the mountains
where his native folk dwell.
Twenty five years away travelling
it had been, he reminisced
as he traversed tenderly
his childhood greens and streets,
then took two back lanes around
to where Maisie’s mother lived.
M-A-I-S-I-E, he repeated
over and over in his head,
savouring each letter as it rolled
across his pining mind.
She had been his Sweetheart,
right up until the week he had left
and she was the only thing
about this place that a photograph
could not cure nor yearn-balm.
He nervously knocked thrice
upon the dark green front door
with cap in hand, spat and fingered
hair to the side and tried in vain
not to smile in greeting too weirdly.
She answered, gasping in shock,
stuttered “You’re far too late!”
And with a grandchild bouncing
in her right arm and a wedding
ringed left hand, she ‘shooo-ed’
him quickly off the doorstep
and backwards dizzy into the past.
Can’t see what everyone else does. Reality blinded by his sense of past. – mh clay