Kiss Me, You Fool
"Kiss me, you fool," she couldn’t say,
so painted, on a quiet sign
she hung, one evening, on the gate
they’d passed perhaps a hundred times.
All summer, as they crossed the stream
and started up the sunken path
she looked away—so he might see
the link between her words and heart.
At last, as leaves began to turn,
he nodded at the fading board:
"Whoever wrote that sign’s too proud--
or scared?—to risk what love deserves.
His sign’s been there so long, I’m sure
she’ll never kiss him now."
Phil Vernon returned to the UK in 2004 after two decades in different parts of Africa. His version of the mediaeval hymn "Stabat Mater" with music by Nicola Burnett Smith has been performed internationally. This Quieter Shore, a micro-collection, was published by Hedgehog Poetry Press in 2018. His full collections are Poetry After Auschwitz (Sentinel, 2020) and Watching the Moon Landing (Hedgehog Poetry Press, 2022). Since 1985 he has worked in the humanitarian and peacebuilding field. A new collection, Guerilla Country (Flight of the Dragonfly), due in March 2024, brings together his interest in landscape, peace and conflict. Twitter: @philvernon2
The Ekphrastic Review
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