THE INVITATION

Over the vol-au-vents of that strange wedding
we met,
a brushing of hands for the celery,
and I laughed when you said you had come fifty miles
to the church by bus, travelling with the groom and best man,
and it seemed funnier that four would be returning
the same way.

You posed for a photograph,
pressing close against my arm.

Weeks later I received a copy,
your turquoise hat and matching coat
short, over a shorter dress –
and I remembered watching you dance
“twisting the night away”
and you sitting cross-legged at our table,
your eyes a sparkle I never tasted.

And in the middle of that strange wedding
the groom silenced the music,
invited us all back, in twenty-five years.

Today an invitation arrived
and for the first time I remembered one kiss,
your goodbye wave,
and wonder how the years have spanned our different lives,
regret I cannot even recall your name.

Envoi 134