by Richard Vince

Beyond grey tower blocks,
The blue hills lay beneath
A gently reddening sky as
The greens of the leaves above me
Faded in the twilight.

It was the earliest dream country:
Teenage love rather than adult
Infatuation bore its silent song
To my ears, a song of hope
In the face of hopelessness,
A reminder of how much more
The world held for me.

And that was enough, for
Both of us. And when we saw
The place up close at last,
There was no illusion to destroy:
The distant place was a symbol,
A backdrop against which our
Dramas played out, not the real thing
But our own interpretations.

Our lives took us east as
Our hearts looked west,
Further west than dreams,
Beyond the sunset where
The real fantasies lived.

Unlike you, I made no advances,
But the rejection was just as
Real, an alarm to wake me
Lest I slumbered too long.
Perhaps we were too stubborn,
Too determined to be ourselves,
To allow sleep to become eternal.

Sometimes I go back and
Look to the west again, but
Next time I will have company:
Eyes from a century before
That saw that ancient land
And dreamed a better life
From nothing more than hills.


Author's Note: Dedicated to A.E. Housman, whose poetry I have never read.

Posted on 11/04/2023
Copyright © 2024 Richard Vince

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