An Ode to St George's
by Kristin White
It’s funny but when we first met, I thought he was too old for me. I didn’t take him seriously – he was just for right now. And anyway, I wasn’t interested in anything long-term. I never had been.
After all, I’m a nomad, full of wanderlust. How could I be with just one, forever?
And then he started working his magic.
Stroll with me down this cobble stoned street and look how it bends right here and twists back on itself. He reached round covered my face, No peeking. Walk, walk, walk. Now stop right here. He lifted his hands and laughed when I sucked in my breath at the sight of sun setting over his harbour. I stood motionless, entranced and he said, see, I told you.
Another day we met and as we hugged hello, he paused. You feel that? History’s vibrations beneath your feet, winding its way up round your calves, wrapping round your hips, tunneling into your breast and pulsing along with your heart? I rolled my eyes and chuckled...Dismissive. But his face was serious, so I stopped, and listened. And watched.
I saw sprites selling Easter Lilies outside a sweet smelling house made of perfume. And a handsome black man sharpened his razor on a leather strap. Ghosts of centuries past wisped round my shoulders whispering of freed slaves and confederate soldiers. Of houses of ill-repute where drunkards banged their shins. Of arguments and unfinished monuments to a god. Of one warning shot. Of gunpowder. Of rum.
My eyes widened as he carried me into tales I’d never known of pirates. Of wenches. And yes of rum.
The apparitions faded away and as I stood there stunned, he just smiled, kept walking, then looked back over his shoulder. What are you waiting for? He yelled. Come with me…
I was hooked. When he would call out to me to come for adventure, I stopped pretending to hesitate and would run out of the house, screen door clanging, with pedal bike or sneakers or towel. The grass would rub high along the backs of my knees and he’d brush spider webs out of my hair.
Sometimes, he’d want to talk about his past, and we’d lay in the grass and stare at the clouds. He wouldn’t want me to look into his eyes as he spoke of how he felt like he’d forever lost parts of himself. He would remember dances and parties and glitzier days. And then he would sigh and say, enough of that. He’d stand up, brush the soil from his trousers and reach down for my hand. It’s a new day now right? Right, I’d say, and we’d dream together.
Sometimes he’d bring friends, people who knew him well, who he’d told beforehand, make me sound good. And they would… they would walk alongside us and gush about him and his stories. And even though I knew they were biased, I didn’t care.
Because I was too.
And that’s how our love affair began.
He, capturing my imagination with stories and adventure, with glimpses of who he was and fantasies of who he will be.
Me, wide open and settled into his welcoming arms, waiting for him outside his moongate, fully his. Finally knowing where I belong.
Right here with him.
Right here with my Saint George.