Portrait of Valentine

1 September 2013

After Roland Penrose, 1937

Those I have loved, the three;
how they preen. Green eyed, finch-flecked
first kisser. Cheek skimmed,
I kicked the sleepers home that night
mam called to warn of trains
and the Yorkshire Ripper.
Long since the wheel spun its last,
three years past eighty-four.

Kingfisher lover, how you adored my shadows,
(the pit pond a lure for your Southern sights)
dove, turned the air blue with talk,
what you wouldn’t do
weren’t worth knowing abart. Nah then

there’s you, common starling, playing coy,
looking back in a what you’re missing glance,
keen a glint on every feather. I, less
English rose than bramble, briar hair picked
of fruit. When I open my mouth I lose
my words in a flurry, I flub, I foozle;
my tongue a practice struggling scales.

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