The Woman In The City.


With my wife’s permission,

I spent the late winter Saturday evening

in the memory of embrace and arms

of my first love before

heading back home, cold feet

but undoubtedly a warmed heart.

I have neglected her, since she came

into money. For nine

and half long years I watched, hiding

my interest, trying hard

to forget just what this lady

in sheer blue had once meant to me.

I had loved her

when it seemed no one else would,

when she ragged, poor, shambolic,

a faded glory, once movie star looks

now creased, broken lines, a junkie living

on former ideals and strident passion,

I had loved her, when she was poor,

almost bankrupt, I took her name

and tattooed it on my arm

there til’ I die, there till my skin

decays and the only proof

is a photo or two when

I grew my hair and wore her colours

with pride.

I travelled thousands of miles

to keep her safe, to places

that she sang her heart out

in the hope of recapturing former beauty,

a triumph it seems in old age

to keep my eyes always off the younger

success available if only my head would turn.

For nine odd years

I tried to love and hate in the same

despairing fashion, turning my stomach

away from her now rich suitors which

paid, I believed for her make over

and her soul.

Forgive me my love

as for one late afternoon I felt your embrace

despite the scrawny like finger ghost cold call

coming over your bonnet, the lights shining

down on us, your dress keeping

us warm, your beauty

restored in my eyes,

and for the long journey home,

I knew once more

that love

for a grand old lady in blue,

and my wife’s smile on the doorstep

as I came home, faith once more



Dedicated to Manchester City Football Club (1976-)

Ian D. Hall 2017