BYE GODFREY- I had inadvertently rolled in a patch of cockle-burrs, it was autumn’s turning, at these times being when I most thought of her- Peruvian Clementine.
And what would I give her?..have her here to brush burrs from me as recumbent on warm rock pile we lay.The thistles and the years we have been apart plucked softly away.
I would give you fresh bread baked myself from grain so gold..give you that tame Badger warm to hold that appeared to you in a frequent dreams, a frame for your degree in Celtic History for which you worked so hard, never leave you again, stow my suitcase in our Casa by the sea, neath the porch beams.
Yours would be the pat on the shoulder, the gold star, the lumpy stocking hanging on the bedpost on your birthday. Mine the strong arms, to carry you when the sand is hot, when the deep snow is not, at winters eve when outside is bathed in blue. Oh, my daring Clementine, what I would give you.
And we shall dance, dance with the Fish Lady’s girl, dance “The Maltese Curtain Hurl”. “On the Island of Malta no one has doors in their home”, fling the drape open, waltz right in, shout Ria Tin Tin! . Hurl yourself down the hallway in dance!, I hurl myself after you. Your muscular folds, in curtains so old, swing me door to door from kitchen to loo, hurl the curtains open, poke our heads in and sing- Ria Tin Tin!.
What would I give Clementine today? Give her happiness warm, spontaneous as Haggis and Tatties on a dinner tray. Give the patience of a heron standing in the slough, give her that Flamingo colored frock she would have worn to please me, not just pastries and ragged scraps of poetry… and The Peruvian Armpit Waltz that we danced to, we danced in her bare attic room, on the grassy, Welsh hilltop, remote and dusty Texas truck stop, on the beach in Peru, danced in that greasy old fish shop.
Throw open the curtain, I write these words to all of you out there discontented. Who’s boat has washed ashore, before you could swim free out to meet it. All whom have been both cradled and rejected by the tide- hurl the Maltese Curtains aside…come hombre, lets dance Clementine cried. What would I give her? I’d give her forty toilet rolls, (packed in twos) And never laugh again at how much she chose to use.even help her, without laughing, help her stow them away..if my daring Clementine were here today…