special guest – poet Hazel Warren:

20 Years

Are we flirting? I want to ask ‘cause I’m not sure, but I know that asking is against the rules, and I’m not sure what the rules are, but I’m pretty sure that’s one, because it’s got to be done subtly. Cloak and dagger. Hide and seek. I’m wearing my best underwear but you won’t know because I didn’t want to seem too keen. So black lace and tiny straps remain hidden under baggy shirt and jeans.

Last night, were we flirting? I need to know because I’m choking, I get globus when I feel strong emotion and I think I saw you look at me. You held your gaze too long. Don’t give the game away. We’re doing this all wrong. I’m not good at this, but you know me all too well. You were my first love, twenty years ago -should be long enough, but I’m back on that bridge watching shooting stars, tucked inside your leather jacket like a sparrow, and it was easy then, because I knew that I was yours. But now I’m scared, because it seems so easy with you now.

Are we flirting? I need to know because you’re texting me goodnight, and you still make me laugh. I felt like I hadn’t laughed like that since you last made me laugh, and I feel like I’ve been waiting to see you, well, since I saw you last, and I’m flickering in between feeling so at ease and my heart being in my mouth when I think of what it means.

Are we flirting? I need to know because I’m scared, and you’re the only one ‘can make me feel self-assured. So are we? Flirting? If I ask it will be ruined, so I’m skirting round the edges, like some kind of clumsy moth, trying to avoid landing on the spot. Trying not to get burnt by that flickering flame, which provides some light, but not enough to focus on the – What?

Are we flirting? I have to know because I can’t see how this poem is going to end, and I don’t know if you’re a lover or a friend, and if this feels so familiar, just because it’s old, or because it’s you, and me.

And I thought that story had been told.

~ by Barbara S on June 20, 2021.

One Response to “special guest – poet Hazel Warren:”

  1. one of my favourite poems of Hazel’s. I have once recited it back to her for her birthday – don’t know now where I took the courage.

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