David Lewis Paget

(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

Ice!


She’d walk on out to the balcony
Each day that it didn’t hail,
Braving the bitterly cutting winds
In the search for a distant sail,
I’d wait ‘til she was shivering cold
And her lips were turning blue,
Then drag her in through the open door;
Well, what was I meant to do?

She’d cry, of course, as I thawed her out
By the small, pot belly stove,
The only thing that kept us alive
In that tiny, ice-bound cove,
I’d wrap a blanket around the form
That I’d loved since I was three,
While she looked out for the love she’d lost
And I’ll swear, it wasn’t me!

He’d gone away on a masted barque
With the winter coming in,
Had kissed her once as he went aboard
And swore he’d be back again,
He waved just once, then he turned his back
As the barque had sailed away,
Hauling on the top gallants as
It headed out from the bay.

The three of us had been bosom friends
Until Charles had gone to sea,
But only then had professed his love
For the love of my life, Marie,
I’d been too timid to state my love,
She saw me just as a friend,
I felt that my heart was broken, when
She turned to him in the end.

But I lived up on the cliff-top face
With a perfect view of the bay,
I’d see him first when he sailed back home
So she asked if she could stay,
She settled in, and my heart had grieved
As I watched her pale blue eyes,
Skimming the far horizon as
The rain had turned to ice.

The skies grew dark and the storms came in
And the sleet had turned to snow,
It covered all of the cliff-tops and
The sand on the cove below,
‘We’re in for a wicked winter, ’ I
Remarked, as I chopped the wood,
And she had turned, to give me a smile
To say that she understood.

The weeks went by and the storms still came
Til the cove had turned to ice,
The sea froze out in the distant bay
While we passed the time with dice,
‘Isn’t it strange how fate decrees, ’ she said
‘How love will lie…
What if it wasn’t Charlie, what
If it was you and I? ’

The look on my face betrayed me, for
She sat right back and stared,
A tear had caught at my eye, she said,
‘Why didn’t you say you cared? ’
‘I couldn’t see how you’d care for me
Though I cherished you as a friend,
I knew you would set your sights on Charles
And leave me in the end.’

‘You didn’t give me the choice, you should
Have left it for me to choose,
Now it’s a little too late for us,
What did you have to lose? ’
She stomped on out to the balcony
Where the hail came down like rice,
And like a fool, I left her there
Til her tears had turned to ice.

I found her frozen, stuck to the rail
Where she stood and stared to sea,
I should have taken her in before
And she might have come to me,
But still she stands with her frozen hands
As a barque sails into the bay,
And Charles will see that she came to me;
What am I going to say?

22 April 2014

Submitted: Monday, April 21, 2014

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