FSG: Faith, Sexuality and Gender

On the margins of orthodoxy

Cambridge 1-2 Stafford, 12 April 2008 13 April 2008

Filed under: Cambridge,desire,love,poetry,Stafford — John @ 4:00 am

Cambridge 1-2 Stafford, 12 April 2008

I’d remembered the date:

Double it to get my birthday

One month before.

I hadn’t sent an email –

The day before –

And now it was too late:

She wouldn’t get it.

The moment lost.

I thought it must be ‘fate’

When we drove past the gate

Of the football ground

Where the notice stated

The match:

Cambridge United against Stafford.

Several times of late

We’d driven past Stafford,

Myself and Kate,

Travelling fast

Along the motorway.

But I’d not revisited the past.

Who was there to see in Stafford, anyway?

She was no longer there,

Though I might long to see her.

For a fleeting second,

I thought I did

As I left the copy centre

Clutching my niece’s laminated artwork:

Two almost identical, archetypal ladies.

There, across the car park she came;

I thought I caught a look, her style,

But looked away from the couple

And did not allow my gaze

To linger yet awhile.

We two had been a couple, once,

Back in Stafford while

The others slept;

And again,

In London, Paris, Bradford –

Places of my past.

And yes, in Cambridge, too,

Where it started.

So much passion leaves its traces;

But does that mean it lasts?

So many poignant memories;

But does my repeating

Signal love’s demise,

Or chance revival?

I should not wonder so,

I kept saying to myself.

All that is gone,

Long past;

She was wrong

For you, and you for her –

No doubt.

And her affections now lie


No even match.

And yet, I had seen her,

One year or so before;

No chance encounter

But a sneaky rendez-vous –

Almost a tryst –

Back in London.

I had to be duplicitous,

To lie about my Delaye:

Problem of trains missed;

Trouble down the line.

But there was nothing in it,

Was there?

We talked, explained;

And kissed goodbye.

I recoiled from more

And shuttled off back home

To Cambridge.

And she to her newfound love.

She was one of two again,

And what of me?

Of my two, was she the one?

And though I knew the answer,

Still I wondered –

And was I alone in re-evoking

What could have been and never was?

And never was because unspoken,

Even then –

Repeating the missing of my words

That could have summoned her to my present,

Before time and chance slipped past.

We, too, once were united.

Not repeated;

My hopes defeated.

And yet,

Perhaps destiny had intended

Us to be together

For a while, at least

I thought, as I learned the score:

Cambridge United 1 Stafford 2 –

My 1-2 12 April Stafford girl,

Whom another won and made two.

A past united,

Not reignited;


But not a gain.