Killing Me Softly
Vanessa’s parties – always spiffing;
strawberry tarts and custard trifles,
liquorice allsorts, wrapped in doilies.
Vanessa – beaming in the doorway;
golden curls with lime-green hair-band,
leads me round the heaving hall-stand.
Detour Uncle, crash with Auntie.
“Spot on time for Pass-the-Parcel.
Come on Harry – join the circle!”
“Sit by me!” yells sweet Vanessa.
Skin that smells of Parma Violets;
breath that reeks of sherbet lemons.
Never was I more enchanted.
“Take your partners for a Polka,
dance until it’s five-past teatime.
Come on kiddies – let’s get prancing!”
Vanessa’s won my heart completely,
as she canters, pigtails swinging,
patent shoes and party-frock.
Miss the sideboard, dodge the table.
“Steady you two! Take it easy.”
Vanessa says she really likes me –
says she knows somewhere that’s cosy,
so I meet her in the cupboard,
deep beneath the passage stairwell.
Much too old for Ring-a-Roses;
not old enough to go proposing.
Just the sound of two hearts beating –
a taste of love, however fleeting.
Love too real for stolen kisses
as she whispers, “Be my friend, please.”
Shame the evening has to finish.
Farewell handshakes from her father;
thank him for a smashing party.
Home again – bath-water steaming,
lazing in the tub and dreaming.
Mother reads a bedtime story,
cuddles me and says, “Sleep-tight.”
Vanessa is the girl I’m holding...
as she smiles and kills the light.