Poem — Leonard Lambert

Me & You, Mills & Boon


We met among trees and the round familiar

walked again the lovely gullies

and all their wooded ways,

nodding at the hidden houses

where the blue sea winks at every window

and the shoestring renovators knew us,

they waved and smiled, and we’d come home

to our home‑made world.


Torn apart, we met again in some iron suburb

and in the hard light of this other day

you turned to me with the lovely face, undeceived,

of the girl I married, and I heard you say,

“this isn’t us, is it? Come on, Len. Stuff it.”

And like some eager bird of hope

my heart flew south, over the politics

the ponderous ties, the diminution‑by‑numbers

of Family.


I woke beside this other woman,

the older maybe wiser one,

skeptical now of me alone,

and the long slow battles began to loom

and Duty like an Englishman marched in,

and the years marched on,

but long, long I carried your words, that look ‑

I hold them still

in this unwritten book.

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