Those village evenings of youth
Christmas in the stone-walled village
was yellow lamp light and empty night streets
between the valley of the chapel and the
hill of the pub, bright and murmuring.
My salve lime mouth-watering ways
alongside the slide side of the boys
who trod in unison through the night
of thin beer full of moonshine and, beyond
finger tips, the girls who gathered gossip.
Not a door opened;
no light spilled in goodbye or welcome;
and what lingered on the quiet waiting
night, never did the village speak of it;
so we said "see you tomorrow"
and free of sorrow of the day we
walked to our firesides and toasted
the bread and butter
of a rancid furrow.
A teeth-on-edge swallow, that
lasted for I know not how long;
and now on the other side, and
distant, I gag upon a tear,
and linger over the taste of
a youth gone waste.
Do I shiver at the scalpel that
will decapitate my youth;
or the rusty nails that bleed
in sanguinity as they exsanguinate the
feelings that should be left to
drain into the coarse sands of youth.
However pallid the patina
on the silver days appears to be,
is it all the false heartache?
A delusion, that I cannot
return to to ask: did we?