Fiction    Reading Room    Memoir    Interview

Two Songs from the 60s

Who knows what the concert might have been,
maybe Bill or Jack conducted, both of whom came
to such different ends, one a Sir hoisted high
in Scandinavia, the other leaving early.
Like Iain whom I loved but from a distance.
He did wheelies in Leith Street with a car full of students
and years later he wrote to me so sweetly about my poetry,
that I was like a bird listening to sounds underground,
probing with little jabs for the worm. Don’t worry
about the grammar, he’d said, when it came
to my limping Greek, just go straight to the heart of it.
I’d arranged at the Freshers hop the night
before to meet him after the lecture, the boy
with the pretty blonde hair, the nice eyes,
a rash all over his thin, smooth cheeks
but as I stepped out of Chem. 13,
I ran into my sworn enemy. Her eyes glittered
like the sun off ice, ‘Are you meeting someone?’
I could see him craning there, shy
and all spruced up, right behind her left shoulder.
I could see his pretty blonde hair, his nice eyes,
the rash all over his cheeks, poor boy.
I was eighteen. I had no choice.
I walked straight past him, turning my head
from side to side like a satellite dish,
my eyes open wide as if I was blind.
My daughter frowns at this point in the story.
She tells me I was cruel. If I ever did run
into him again, I probably would say I was sorry,
and that anyway I’m an old woman now,
far too fierce and stubborn for the likes of him.
Johanna Aitchison
Michele Amas
Angela Andrews
Sarah Barnett
David Beach
Ken Bolton
Jenny Bornholdt
Rachel Bush
Mary Cresswell
Stephanie De Montalk
Cliff Fell
Tom Fitzsimons
Brian Flaherty
David Geary
Bernadette Hall   (audio)
Kerry Hines
Andrew Johnston
Therese Lloyd
Iggy McGovern
Mary Macpherson
Dora Malech
Vana Manasiadis
Emma Neale
Gregory O'Brien
Lucy Orbell
Zach Savich
Charlotte Simmonds
Marty Smith
Elizabeth Smither
Abby Stewart
Robert Sullivan
Jo Thorpe
Cath Vidler
Louise Wallace
Ashleigh Young

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