Headlights

Picking you up to go driving
I’d get there early to watch you get ready
both seventeen and tangled
in that unspoken thing between us
Cruising the looping country lanes
in those dim headlight beams
That was our place, alone together at last
Two teenagers, eyeing each other sideways
and wondering who each of us would be
would you always stay right there
would you always be
in the car with me
Another mile, another mile
in those endless times…

Thrumming rain upon the roof
your fingers knitted in the glovebox light
always asking me so many questions
our laughter lingering and playful
in the freezing depths of northern winter
You’d push me to say who I liked at school
watching so carefully
I’d study the glowing dashboard for a full five minutes
turn the tape over, change the conversation
stealing so many glances
at your perfect saucer eyes
so smart and so alive
Another mile, another mile
in our early lives…

Somewhere along the journey
we’d stop the car, snuff out the lights
and in the backseat, without a word
we’d learn a new geography
You’d breathe your lessons into me
the beguiling wonder of our story
skirting the youthful boundaries
of a near-love I’d forever treasure
And afterwards you’d finger our initials
on the foggy inside of the glass
I always loved that, but so sad
that those smears outlasted us
Another mile, another mile
in those simple, priceless, times

Twenty years of change sailed by
suddenly, from the silence, you called me
heard I’m in town, saying ‘we should talk again’
I say ‘how about a drive…?’
Eyeing me from the driver’s seat
you say I’d ‘become all the things I used to pretend to be’
you said it was ‘a good thing’
and now you teach at our old college
you’re not married but there’s a good man waiting
and the baby, she already looks like you
Who’d have thought those teenagers were headed here
running country laps, in those dim headlight beams
another mile, another mile
in those precious lives, we had to leave behind

Another mile, another mile
I’m so glad we got to share those times…

[2021]

Thanks for reading.

All my poems.

Published by

Tom Alexander

"Art is a lie that tells the truth"

8 thoughts on “Headlights”

    1. Thanks Peter 😀 I’d been struggling to finish this one as it was originally much longer, I’ve done my best to trim it down to a vaguely acceptable/accessible length. Really pleased you liked it, thanks for reading and commmenting 😃

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bree. Whenever I look at life, I’m never sure if all the joy is worth the inevitable tragedy that is death. And so I love to inject both into my poems when I can. 🙏 Thanks for reading 🤩

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha thanks. This is the sort of thing I am often thinking about and what I like to see reflected in my favourite books, songs and films 🙂 P.S. This was the last of the 12 poems I wanted to finish, so I should have a bit of time now to dedicate to a collaboration, whoop!

        Liked by 1 person

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