Serendipity and Happenstance

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She’d lived a life of chastity

Devoid of boys or men

Some fifty years of life alone;

Well, almost – until Ben.


He met her quite by accident

Both at the Old Folks Dance;

They chatted over biscuits,

Discussing potted plants.


Ramrod straight and military,

Grey haired and nuthatch-neat,

His gentlemany tete-a-tete

Complicit and discreet.


And then again on Tuesday week,

Arriving at the dance

She saw him tall above the rest,

Caught guilty by his glance.


He greeted her with stoop and bow

But neither forced nor false ;

He asked her for the foxtrot

Which followed with a waltz.


Then Tuesdays after Tuesdays

They’d dance from 12 till 2;

Companionship was effortless

And love between them grew.


She was not swept up from her feet

In giggly teenage trance

But with a slow maturity

Which age and wisdom grants.


One day, though, he didn’t come

Nor even called her back;

He’d passed away the night before -

A sudden heart attack. 


But life bears fruits of mysteries

Both Biblical and strange,

Phenomena which can’t beset

A woman past The Change.


Thus Ben lives in her heart and arms

Mementos of their dance

Twin daughters, Serendipity,

And sister, Happenstance.


◄ Selby Abbey

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Ann Foxglove

Thu 1st Mar 2012 05:43

Did you want to tag this poem for the competition John?

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Nick Coleman

Mon 6th Feb 2012 19:37

Love reading and listening to your works. Always original and well crafted. Agree would make great radio slot.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sun 5th Feb 2012 12:38

I enjoyed this, John, a little easy reading with a heart-warming message. And it is your poetic skill that makes this subject fall into rhyme and metre with such apparent ease. I remember your saying that you like structured poems, to read and compose. Well done. And the picture is adorable, so reminding me of my twin girls at that stage.

<Deleted User> (6315)

Fri 3rd Feb 2012 07:33

Great stuff John..I do enjoy hearing you read your stuff..I agree with MC you would sound good on the radio! :)

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Fri 3rd Feb 2012 05:38

Lovely and unexpected.

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Dave Bradley

Thu 2nd Feb 2012 17:05

Nice one, John - the other comments have said it all

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Ian gant

Thu 2nd Feb 2012 16:53

Good Piece, Accurate well structured and though quite sweet without any decent into the mawkish and trite.

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Anthony Emmerson

Thu 2nd Feb 2012 16:51

Immaculately conceived - and executed; with your usual deft brushstrokes.


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dorinda macdowell

Thu 2nd Feb 2012 15:49

Simply wonderful! - KEEP WRITING!

Dorinda MacDowell

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Harry O'Neill

Wed 1st Feb 2012 19:36


Perfect! (And those two kids are beautiful)


Wed 1st Feb 2012 18:10

Autumnal romances are so sad and yours well written particularly with the unexpected ending.

A lady once told me a similar tale when she went for a walk with a new boyfriend after he'd bought them both an ice-cream then suddenly died whilst eating it on a park bench. I often wonder what happened to that ice cream and your poem evokes a similar irony.

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M.C. Newberry

Wed 1st Feb 2012 11:27

Charming. Full of optimism - and with a rewarding ending! You deserve a slot on a radio programme with the variety of your, of course, by yourself!

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Laura Taylor

Wed 1st Feb 2012 10:20

:) aww, sweet

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