Time Will Say Nothing But I Told You So

It was a mistake to meet you in the woods after school, linger long after we both should have left, feel your lips against mine, tasting of cherries, soft like bruised fruit, my hands tracing the contours of your landscape, so familiar, so strange, so often, then afterwards take the shame of us home, press you between pages of my diary, safe and unrequited, then not to stem the rumours, careless whispers along hushed corridors that shadowed you and distanced me as I saw less and less of you and when I did your eyes were haunted and your locker was graffited and the cuts on your arms were a language I couldn’t read and your parents were called in by the Headmistress and I should have told them about the woods and the lake where we’d swum but I thought if you were gone, I wouldn’t miss you.
Alison Woodhouse