An Old Memory

A woman’s first kiss lies buried beneath the museum,
Buried in the rubble of the streets she knew as a child,
In her mind the ghost streets rise up around her.
Suddenly, they step out from memory,
the girl she had been, and the boy.

The girl, a schoolgirl still, teeters on the edge
Of transition, from child to maid,
Yet is attracted by this boy.
He, older, a working boy, more knowing,
He will walk with her he says to her bus stop,
They take a shortcut, a street that descends.
Through ‘ the blacksmith’s yard’,
To the busy road below.

In the quiet yard, the boy stops,
Takes the girl in his arms. Presses a kiss
On her mouth. The girl begins to cry
Struggles for breath, the boy releases her,
Watches her for a moment, starts to laugh,
He turns back, leaves her standing alone.
Shaken, confused, she dries her tears,
Continues on.

The girl visits her grandma every day.
Across the street she often sees the boy,
He and his workmates chat together,
Laugh with each other, when they look at her,
She feels mocked and humiliated,
Her young attraction to the boy turns bitter,
This girl never again speaks to the boy.