Beech Mast

It was a long walk, back through the crowded town,
the images all wrong after the silence of the woods.
Alone, I hastened through the jostling crowds,
pouring from pub doorways, queuing for the clubs.
I, with my head down, remembering the quiet trees
where earlier that night we’d walked on the beech mast,
the branches a leafy canopy, sheltering our love.
Which, as it turned out, was over. This was the night
you told me that, regretfully, you had other commitments.

What a parting, under a sickle moon, lying on the forest floor,
what love and grief I laid aside in one last wild lovemaking,
no more words spoken, nothing to be said, I would not plead
or cast recriminations, how could I? Your last words were true,
‘After all, you asked for it’, you said, and I suppose I did.


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