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  Penelope Friday

Published on: 10/7/2013
School Reunion

First come the greetings—"how are you now?"
"Gosh, aren't you looking well!" Polite nothings,
The silence of adult conversation.

It's followed soon by a chorus of "do you remembers?"
Long-forgotten stories now re-lived,
Fuelled by wine and old friendships.

Later, maudlin after drink, the sober questions.
"How did we get here?" "When did we all get old?"
Tears, hugs and smudged mascara.

Never mentioned are the might have beens.
The unborn babies, the adventures that never were,
The dreams trampled by reality.

Tomorrow, partings: "We must stay in touch!"
Social lies to aid the route back home.
Knowing it will never happen; life goes on.
The realisation that the past is just the past.

Published on: 10/4/2013

It should be daisies.
I remember daisies flooding the field.
White petals with yolk-yellow hearts.
Chained or unchained, nature's melody.

The tree still stands.
A tall horse chestnut which guards the entrance.
Conkers in autumn—now, in summer,
The home base for every childhood game.

And the children remain,
Playing and laughing on the grass.
Shrill-voiced with excitement as they run,
Arguing and making up in one short breath.

There is white clover now.
Trefoil leaves surrounding so-called flowers.
Angry white spikes with no soft centre:
An image of a crueller, tougher world.

It should be daisies.
I remember daisies flooding the field.
White petals with sun-yellow hearts.
Chained and unchained, nature's melody.

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