thoughts of Joanna

thoughts of Joanna


Joanna her name,

she did not like diminutives

so naturally

I called her Jo

to wind her up


we were never lovers

in the sense of it

we were in too deep for that


meeting in the park

as she walked her dog named Davis

after Miles or maybe Bette

drinking tea at the duck pond cafe

shredding reputations -

laughing sharing mutual loathings


if one we despised passed

notebook in hand staring at trees

we’d smile and wave and ask

‘how’s it going? writing lately?’


they’d acknowledge acquaintance

with an unwilling nod

and half a smile


‘working on Petrarchan sonnets

nice to see you... can’t stop,’


‘great stuff... top notch... later alligator’


out of earshot we’d chuckle,

‘yet another pile of drivel’

(only Jo would call it ‘a pile of shite’)


good days


Davis died

Joanna moved away


I miss them

I long to sit again beside them

any bench

any park

anywhere would do


we’ll share glances

barely a word

and in those glances -

in those silences -

feast on love

untarnished by words.

◄ coming of age in Oxford

for Juliette ►


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