Max, it rings bells for me. Those innocent crushes on young girls, so sweet
and distant now, Words can't do such feelings justice, yet you have sparked
warmly felt memories in this old coot.
On 13 November 2013 09:55, Max Richards <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Glamour in Plaits, 1947
> For several nights I've gathered
> words for these two, the first
> girls to fascinate me
> when I was turning ten years old.
> Anice - small for her age,
> plaits fair and short, neat ribbons;
> eyes downcast, small feet,
> tread light and...dainty.
> We never spoke. For her
> I joined the Busy Bees!
> a trap to make us earnest
> young Presbyterians.
> (Much to my mother's surprise -
> no churchgoer, she,
> of any persuasion.)
> A pageant's in rehearsal.
> Each week the woman in charge,
> impractical, unused to kids,
> gets more exasperated.
> Where are the kids, last week
> flocking in who took the parts
> they promised to learn?
> They're just not reliable.
> I resolve to be so -
> Anice is there - most earnest,
> silent - eyes on her script.
> Had glances met, would
> I have anything to say?
> What trembled on my lips?
> Nothing. Soon I was
> another backslider
> from the Busy Bees,
> as Mother always knew I'd be.
> My focus shifts to Alison.
> Her father runs the corner shop.
> She has long blonde plaits,
> untidy, almond eyes that flirt -
> however, not with me.
> Saturday afternoons,
> at the station, I meet the train,
> commandeer the dropped
> parcel of Evening Posts,
> lug them to the corner store,
> to be rewarded with
> a milk-shake (caramel).
> With luck I'd glimpse her -
> the ten-year fascinating
> Alison, her oval eyes,
> dangerous smile,
> and slim calves above
> her white socks. Her mother
> applies a purple disinfectant
> to some raw patches
> on those calves. Nothing
> would have pleased me more
> than touching Alison there
> with healing fingers.
> None of this was to be let on
> to mother - or to sister,
> this preferring other females.
> Several nights, lately,
> I've gathered phrases
> for these two, then lost them.
> They were to make you see
> two girls through a boy's eyes,
> ignorant why girls might matter,
> but hooked all the same.
> The phrases faded in the dark.
> What got noted lacks glamour,
> but glamour's what they had.
> So started my lifetime's trouble
> with women and their mystery.
'Undercover of Lightness'