Not An Ordinary Love

It isn't hearts and flowers that I remember
But the rosehip bridges of September
A fading clip and clop of platform clogs
The frosty terraced streets and secret snogs
Splintered benches where we used meet
The windy ginnels, February sleet
The bus-rides over hills to drab cafes
In market towns on winter Saturdays
Taking all account of push and shove
Ours was not an ordinary love

And working for a living at sixteen
Started young back then, we did, I mean
They don't these days – it's not encouraged now
Growing up seemed sooner then, somehow
It isn't Valentines though, I remember
But foggy evening lanes in late November
You in scoop-necks, me in baggy trousers
Staring at the rich folk in their houses
Plotting Premium Bond-wins, hand-in-glove
Ours was not an ordinary love.

– Nor an ordinary time at that
Your first driving lesson, my first flat
Three floors up, the bath, if you were willing
For a one-hour wait and had a shilling
'Seventies – it doesn't seem that long
What was that old Paul McCartney song?
C-Moon. Close to Christmas d'you recall
Arguing outside about it all?
Tears. And then the making of it right.
A far from ordinary night

And all the words I said , I meant and more.
To hang around as woodsmoke at your door
Till early spring, a promise on the breeze
The hazy green that ghosts across the trees
And fields waking up, on days like these
Then later, with the outdoor work begun
You, on a country station in the sun
Waiting on a Friday for the train
To bring your dusty boyfriend home again
Cheerful, after drinking with the guv
Ours was not an ordinary love.

Both of us at work – hard work as such
Twenties, you don't think about it much
Labourer and waitress of renown
Get stuck in, get paid and hit the town
Sod the others and their cold ambition
Were we not in love? We had a mission:
Have a brilliant time before we lost it.
Not sit down with abacus to cost it
In event of judgment from above.
Ours was not an ordinary love

As I said, it wasn't hearts and flowers
Rescuing Rapunzels from their towers
But an atmosphere of stolen hours
Idle shelter from those sudden showers
In museums, like paupers at a ball
Staring at the grandness of it all
Raincoat pockets, ticket stubs and tissues
In those carefree days were all our issues
Shabby pigeon and his scruffy dove
Ours was not an ordinary love

Never big occasions I remember
But the skint nights-in around December
One bar of a three-bar gas-fire hissing
Lovers on an indoor sunbreak, kissing
Kitchen-trips for optional excursions
Making tea or switching on immersions
Caught by tipsy test card, unawares
Squaring to the challenge of the stairs
After taking stock of their location
Ours was not an average situation

Pop-star posters peeling on the wall
That's what I remember most of all
In the kitchen. making home-made wine
Quite forgot about the valentine
You due home in minutes, from your shift
Had to knock one up – and rather swift
Cardboard, paper, scissors and the glue
"Here's a new-wave Valentine for yo-ou!"
Blackmail typeface from a velvet glove
Ours was not an ordinary love

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