When We Really Met

The start of winter, almost always highland cold
in Armidale, crisp with frost on misty mornings,
trees stark and stripped of autumn glory,
hibernating, waiting for spring warmth and new life.

You called on me one evening -- Saturday, when most
were out, gone to see a movie or get pissed,
maybe dine at Nick's or Mun Hing's cafe.  Some were home
but not alone, making beasts with two young backs.
or so they boasted -- and I was on my own as usual,
wishing that I wasn't...

And when you knocked I almost lost my chance
to change that -- less subtle then
than I am now, which surely isn't saying much,
I asked you outright why you'd come
on that quiet, fast-cooling evening --
the Lord be praised you didn't run
as lesser spirits might have done.

We spent the whole night talking.  About what?
Well, not much that I can recollect --
so drawn to you I could scarce think,
but couldn't climb the walls of my own shyness,
come close to you while darkness lasted.

Then came the morn, when rosy-fingered
dawn broke up the mists, awoke the frosted grass,
put a few pale stars to flight
and woke me with it to walk with you
on paths that crunched a little underfoot
towards the top of our quiet campus

and then back through enchanted pastures,
lined with trees that still bore leaves
at this late season -- and there I took you by the hand
at last, and then we really met.

I've loved you from that moment.

© David Nourse 2011