It’s over 30 years ago now
then, I thought he was lucky
regular warmth slipping into eager sheets
as autumn undressed to winter.
There is a photograph from that time
impossibly blue day.
tree sprayed sunshine
both of us standing together – piece workers on an orchard.
forgetful of all anxiety
the quiet between examinations and grade.
shadow stain of the image capturer.
He told me casually
as if announcing the date or time
more confirmation of fact than disclosure
if suspicion had been more attentive
the dots may have connected with speed
and without confession
but observation was blunted by self-absorption.
She wasn’t a beginner he said
things had begun some time before him
of this there could be no doubt
he had experience in these matters.
The landowner’s daughter and the hired help
20th-century absolution to the sins of squirearchy
the new egalitarianism.
Girls want to have fun too
that’s what he told me.
She giggled confirmation.
Retouching is needed. The camera lied.
The good looking man smiling out does not exist.
No such person
an employment alias
such deceptions possible before electronic footprints.
A satellite falls from rogue orbit to extinction
re entry incineration vaporises all trace.
She was two years below age of consent
he must be in his 50s now
perhaps with a daughter.