We took the Lawyer to Nottingham to drop him off as he started his degree. He was 18 and self possessed in a way that I wasn’t and am still not. He took it in his stride, I was in bits. I wrote this on the way home, recalling as I did so how I felt on my first night in Hall in 1975 when I went to University. I’m pretty sure he had no such doubts…
Today you walked away from me.
You didn’t look round to let me see
If you were smiling or close to tears;
You kept from me your hopes and fears
And let me do the babbling chat
As I spoke fondly of this and that,
Memories from a sanitized youth.
How lovely, how fine; so far from truth.
Of Course. I sat on my bed that night,
Alone, home sick, nerves held tight.
Would they be friendly, would they be friends?
True companions or means to an end?
Why had I come? Why take a chance?
Was I reading too much in that glance?
You stopped and stared across the lawn,
Profile blurred, I watched forlorn
As you held a pose, firm upright,
Then turned away, and out of sight.
I blew out a long-held breath,
Closed my eyes, ground my teeth.
I held in mind that final frame,
An image that might dull my pain.
A picture of your long straight back,
Cropped blond hair, rolling gait.
You walked away, my darling Sam
This day when you became a man.