The Mansion In Memory Lane
(1)Young Tom visited his great aunt, until he was ten years old,
And soon after his next birthday, her old mansion would be sold,
Since she died, and he would miss them both, as nine years changed the date.
He completed school, did two years work, and started college late.
(2)At the end of his first Uni year, he used semester break,
To get on his pushbike, ride ten miles, and use the street to take
Some new photographs of that old house, that stood in Memory Lane.
Then a lady pulled up in the drive, and Tom had to explain.
(3)So he told her how he'd visited his great aunt, and she'd died.
She invited him to take more pictures of the house inside.
They exchanged their names, and hers was Angel. She had long blond hair,
And she wore a dark blue dress, which caught his eyes and made him stare.
(4)Angel showed him in, and chatted, as the camera's shutters moved
More than those beside the windows, and he noticed she approved
Of his dedicated efforts to preserve the life he'd known.
He used up his roll of film, while she was talking on the phone.
(5)He soon asked her if he could come back, when he had bought some more.
She took out an unused roll of film she'd kept in her desk drawer.
"You can have this as a gift, if you could stay for lunch as well,"
Angel told him, and he found himself enchanted by her spell.
(6)With her wedding ring to think of, he stayed focused on the shots
That he took of her interiors, while Angel warmed some pots.
She prepared a tasty pasta, which they ate, while she detailed
How she'd married, bought the house, and then her husband's health had failed.
(7)For two years she'd been a widow, and the house was now a shrine,
And the memories of their lost loved ones would start to intertwine,
As a thirty year old widow, and a boy were growing fond
Of each other, with that mansion as a setting for a bond.
(8)He told stories of old visits there, and picnics on the lawn.
Then the sunlight shone upon her face, as Angel had to yawn.
She proposed that they might have the next day's lunch out on the grass,
And he thought of Angel married, when those years had had to pass.
(9)Now they shared the common ground, specifically that block of land,
And the ghosts they knew that no-one else could ever understand.
He accepted her proposal, and soon bought a "Thank you" card,
And some chocolates, which he handed her, as they walked through her yard.
(10)They enjoyed the picnic lunch, and she invited him to stay,
For a chat up on the balcony, and let him lead the way.
She was thrilled by how he knew his way around each nook and cranny,
And he told her how he'd used the cellar once, to hide from Nanny.
(11)They walked out onto the balcony, and Tom said, "When I came,
I was glad to see the garden and the house looked just the same.
It feels just like fifteen years ago, on days when my great aunt
And I both looked out at every creeper vine and growing plant."
(12)"Tom, you're sweet to buy me chocolates," Angel candidly responded,
"And it's nice the way we've shared the stories of this house and bonded.
For the first time, I've met someone who has helped me break the seal,
Of the lonely widow syndrome, but I don't know how you feel."
(13)"I feel nice," said Tom, "It's special to be spending two days here."
Angel thanked him and then asked, "But have I got the wrong
What I mean, is: Do you like me, or do you just like this place?"
He had never had a girlfriend. Now this doll was giving chase.
(14)"Yes, I really like you, Angel. I'm just scared to mix my past
With a future that could hurt me, if your feelings might not last."
Her mouth opened in surprise, and she said, "You're the younger man.
But you've thought this out so deeply, since your visits here began.
(15)I have turned away proposals from each Dick, and every Harry,
But not every Tom, because you're one, whom I would love to carry
Me across the threshold in the future, once we two have dated
For the next two years, until such time as you have graduated."
(16)Tom said, "When I first met you, I was unnerved about one thing,
As I came to take the pictures, and I saw your wedding ring.
I still thought it would be wrong to interrupt your right to grieve.
With my photographs all taken, I decided I should leave."
(17)"You don't have to leave," said Angel, "With your help, my grief has gone.
If you'd like to see some more of me, I'm ready to move on."
"I sure would," said Tom, "if I don't disappoint you. Being new
To this dating thing, I guess you'll have to teach me what to do."
(18)Summer sun lit up the garden, but the balcony was shady,
As she smiled and moved towards him. "Have you ever kissed a lady?"
Angel asked. He said, "I've never had a girlfriend, so to speak. "
Then she smiled, and put one hand behind his neck, and kissed his cheek.
(19)Then she placed her other arm around his back, and took the lead,
As she taught him every kissing move, until they both agreed,
That the time had come to move inside and use the couch instead.
They were both too clean in mind, to jump the gun, and use the bed.
(20)They sat on the couch, and felt the cushions underneath them dip,
And he ran each finger slowly over her soft lower lip.
They embraced, and felt their touching cheeks was unity assured,
As Tom realized this vacation would leave no time to be bored.
(21)She'd inherited a chain of fashion stores, that dealt in flowers
As a sideline to enhance the atmosphere in business hours.
As the owner, she could take time off, to coincide with his,
Angel told him, as she poured some lemonade that kept its fizz.
(22)With the daylight saving sunlight still to last for quite a while,
Angel's bicycle and his went wheeling round, until a mile
Of her suburb had been covered, and he hazarded a guess
That her own department store supplied her flowery white long dress.
(23)"I designed this one myself," she said, "with flowers in pale red.
They're the same as those that grow around the mansion's old back shed.
Then the "tailor made" department had it made in several days.
Will you let me read your college work: those stories, and the plays?"
(24)She was lost in everything he wrote; and used her drawing skill
To make illustrations for the novels he worked on, until
One book publisher, who'd previously turned his books away,
Had a change of heart, and knew that now the customers would pay.
(25)When his college course was finished, and he didn't have to cram,
Putting dates with her on hold, the night before his last exam,
He rode out of university, a bachelor of study
Up to Angel's suburb, skidding on some road that rain made muddy.
(26)He fell off the bike, and hit his head, and passed out on the road,
Where his girlfriend lived, while clouds above went into downpour mode.
Then eventually her car pulled up, when she came driving by,
And she thought that he was dead, and stroked his head, and had to cry.
(27)"Tom, I loved you more than even my old husband. It's not fair,"
Angel wept, as he woke up, and felt her fingers on his hair.
"It's alright. I skidded off the road, fell down, and then I must
Have collapsed, once I had hit my head, and ended up concussed.
(28)Roadside grass has saved me from a bruise. I'm glad you came and found
Me down here, and kept me safe, since there was no-one else around."
She secured the car, and left it, and they walked the pushbike in,
And she bandaged his right hand with rolls of something soft and thin.
(29)Angel gently held his hands and said, "I thought I'd lost another,
And before we could get married." Then she used her lips to smother
Him with countless lovely kisses. Tom said, "Does this really mean,
That you're seriously willing to get married? I'm still keen.
(30)And in fact, that's why I cycled up. I hope this isn't rash.
Could you help me open this? My hands are clumsy from the crash."
He took out a small container, and she lifted up the lid,
And she saw a wedding ring, and said, "Of course I'm still keen, kid.
(31)Now I guess it's time to take this old ring off, and start anew."
"You don't need to take it off," said Tom, "I'm sure there's room for two,
Your first ring is on your right hand, as a memory and a token,
And this new one tells the world the sleeping widow has awoken."
(32)"I can't believe how sweet you are," said Angel, "I'll do what you've said,
Now I think you should lie down, since you just hurt your handsome head.
I'll still stay and keep you company, and make some wedding plans."
They discussed things, and her sports car soon drove westward, dragging cans.