She had a predilection
For the surreal and the absurdly comical.
She could enact and recite
Word for word
Tales of Hoffman.
During those undergraduate years
She displayed a delightful wit,
All ironic humour, appreciating the craft
Of Smiles of a Summer Night,
A young connoisseur of European cinema
Its elegance, unhurried and stately pace;
Watching intently, right hand on chin
Wrapped in emotive trance, silent and in repose,
The luminous magic of the silver screen.
After a brief courtship, she moved away
There was no adieu or tearful goodbye.
At the Everyman, our favourite haunt
I’d wait outside, hoping for a sight;
But it was all in vain
She had done the vanishing act.
Months passed; seasons changed
Days shortened and lengthened.
In bright nights and dark days
She loomed large, a phantom presence
One Sunday while walking, it came to me.
She was an unanswered question,
A paradox, an invisible contradiction.
She was both earthy and ethereal,
Nowhere but seemingly everywhere.
The inscription on her arm,
“The nearness of you”, I saw it only once;
She covered it well, another impenetrable layer.
I realised it at once;
I was near, but not close
She remained just too far, a force of nature.