It’s Not on Google
how he claimed not to know how to eat trout
or how she leaned over and drew the fish bone out,
how he told her he wanted to live in her room, how he loved
the florist’s daffodils that she’d shoved
in jars, how heads close, hair electrified, faces pale,
they’d made out the censor’s scribble on the torn blue air-mail,
how he’d said, ‘they want me to know that they know’,
how the town fountains froze into fingers, and how the snow
fell that year until they saw ice form at the river’s edge,
and how the daffodils wilted with cold on the window’s ledge,
and how he chanced on her so often in the lengthening street
that she changed her way home, fearing the tap of his echoing feet.
How one day, googling, she smiled to think of the trout,
of her friend’s quick mind, and the line he’d spun that caught her out.
And it is on Google, how he’d bent his words to a cause
and reeled back into the arms of his young country’s laws.
If only she could catch him, freefalling, and carry him back,
show him the eulogies and then rewind, back track
to her terrible laughter that last day under the yew,
where she’d tell him the young rarely know what they do.
first published in The Oxford Magazine, Autumn 2008, © Stephanie Norgate 2008, used by permission of the author