GRACE IN ST JAMES'S PARK 1940

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: July 27, 2016

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Submitted: July 27, 2016

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Philip has come
to the hospital
and taken me out
to the James Park
near Big Ben;
(I was already dressed,
one of the nurses
dressed me).

We're near the pond
and ducks and swans,
he says.

I gaze to where he says
and see only blackness
through my blind eyes,
but I hear people
and voices and ducks.

I'm in a wheelchair;
he is sitting beside
me on a bench.

I feel his hand take mine:
how are your legs?
He asks.

The leg stumps
are painful,
I say,
they are some days
more than others.

He strokes my hand.

What are you doing
at the Foreign Office?
I ask.

Can't say,
hush hush stuff,
he says,
what with the War
on and that.

I turn to where he is
trying to give
an impression of sight:
do you really
like me?
I ask.

Of course I do,
he replies,
wouldn't be here
with you otherwise
would I?

I suppose not,
I say.

I feel his hand
hold mine gently.

Clive was like that
holding my hand.

But that was before
we had sex
and before he died
at Dunkirk.

Not just stringing me
along are you?
I say suddenly.

I wouldn't do that,
he replies,
what makes you think
I would or am?

Just wondering what
you see in a blind woman
with out legs,
I say.

I think I love you,
Grace,
he says,
from that first time
I saw you.

Love me?
I say surprised,
staring through
blind eyes at him,
gathering each
of his words
into my mind.

Yes,
I do,
he says,
his voice more certain.

How do you feel
about me?
he asks.

I am unsure
and look away
into another darkness
and say:
haven't thought about that;
I have been in such
a state with the blindness
and losing my legs,
I haven't thought
about anything else.

He says:
of course you have;
I didn't mean
to cause you more stress.

He is silent
and I hold
his hand tighter
not wanting him
to go off.

You are kind
and have been
so helpful to me
and I should have thought
about you,
and I have,
but feelings are such
complicated things,
I am in different world,
I say.

I shut up
and I feel him
kiss my cheek,
and he says:
it is fine.

We sit and I hear
ducks and people
and his hand
stroking mine.


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