A Poem by John Grey

A rough road rose just west of Landsborough,
through dairy country,
past an emu breeding farm,
a hermit’s shack with a rusty tireless truck out front,
into wooded uplands.

One summer night, we drove up there,
a couple of friends, our girls,
windows down so wind blew sticky air through air
as the dust we raised
left a trail of frenzied clouds.

With headlights that glowed
like possum eyes,
we bumped and bruised our way
to the abandoned dam
half way up a hill,
probably snake-infested
but we were young
and already bitten by lust.

In the distance,
I could hear my buddies
going at it open-mouthed
but Katie and I merely
sat for hours talking movies.
She had a crush on Robert Redford.
I was a Clint Eastwood kind of guy
in thought though hardly in deed.

We held hands.
I kissed her once or twice
but was far too uncertain to go on with it.
Even when her hair dropped on my shoulder,
I left it there, like a gift under a tree
to be opened who knows when.

Yet, I felt elated, inspirited, just sitting with her
and staring toward the east.
The coast resorts were a distant pinkish glow
then all went dark
before sunrise restored the horizon’s coral sheen.
It was the first time in my life
I could describe a night just so.

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