DINING ON LOVE

When puberty snatched me
away from the meadows
and pulled me towards
untasted temptation,
your love was an entree
that followed an orgy
of meats tough and bitter,
and soft sickly sweets.

A shrug of your shoulders
fast cleansed my palate,
then you fed me fine flavours
of deep-scented spices
tucked in your life-force,
and clean flowing water
leaving the fresh taste
on the tip of my tongue.

But you had another
dessert on your table
and I was an extra
to love and to savour.
You needed to diet
and I had to leave you
to find your way home
and dine with your other.

But though I may hunger
and long for the fullness
that only your presence
can satisfy,
I still taste the flavour
of love-kissed starters,
and honeyed ribbons
still bind me to you,

and all of the scraps
I took from your table
are safely preserved
in my ageing heart.
Each day I remember
the feast that you gave me
and now I am ready
to truthfully say

I freed you, but held you within.

© Jane Paterson Basil

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