The promise of romance


I met a man in Nottingham.
when innocent and young.
He promised sweet romance
with his nickel-plated tongue.

He offered me fine cuisine,
then took me to a skip –
said if I wanted to choose my food
I was welcome to take first dip.

We dined on outdated chicken pies,
followed by stale fruit cake,
leftover cheese, damp crackers,
and mysterious spongy bake.

I said I’d like to see a play –
he vowed he’d find something better.
He walked me three miles into town
to search for street theatre

A drunkard played the castanets
to a tone-deaf woman’s song,
a man with but a single leg
pranced and hopped along.

He asked if I liked dancing –
I smiled in quiet assent.
He took me down a tatty street
and up some steps we went.

In his grimy, litter-strewn bedsit
at the end of a corridor;
we danced until we fell upon
a mattress on the floor.

We went to choose a wedding ring
at the jewellers one night;
I chose a band of platinum
and said it was just right.

The window smashed, I grabbed the ring,
but things did not go well;
the police were round the corner –
that’s why I’m in this cell.

So all young girls in Nottingham
who are innocent and young,
don’t listen to vows of sweet romance
from a man with a plated tongue.

ยฉJane Paterson Basil

13 thoughts on “The promise of romance

    1. I’d like that. Maybe I should write a screenplay. Who would star in it, I wonder. They would have to be English, we’re so much better at being scummy… ๐Ÿ™‚
      I was joking, bit it’s an idea – pity I never stick with anything, as my dear old dad was so fond of telling me…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not too sure about tha – I don’t think these two were giving to the poor – but then, Robin probably wasn’t either. ๐Ÿ™‚
      BTW I have every respect for people who eat out of skips – I think it’s a responsible way to help sustain the planet, although it doesn’t have a very romantic ambience for a first date… ๐Ÿ™‚


      1. I used to have clients who regularly went bin surfing. They knew all the best places and times. Sooo much waste of perfectly good stuff. a candle lit dinner in a cosy bin would be a night to remember ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

            1. He swept me off his feet with those sweet words, “Oh, Deidre, let us away! We don’t need father’s money. I shall build for you a palace in Macdonald’s skip! I shall wipe away the worst of the gunky bits in the corner, and lay feathers over the dried up stuff that’s been there for years, so it doesn’t smell any more, and there you shall slumber, warm and safe in my arms. Every evening we’ll collect fresh leftovers from your bonnet and my boots, and we shall dine on them by candlelight – I’ve nicked father’s silver candelabra from the dining table. We shall live like royalty!”

              Liked by 1 person

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