A few days ago I was in need of inspiration so sought out my W.B. Yeats collection. While reading I came across a note. Small and rectangular it read:
For Iwonita bonita:
Because I’m happy I’ve met someone like you!’
I love when this type of thing happens. When you come across an inscription or note in a book that was bought with love. I wanted to imagine who this was for and when it was given, so have written my own version of events.
It was in a pile of books. Ones I don’t look at anymore.
As I take in his words the years roll back, fold in on each other like origami. I remember sun, a stretch of warmth unlike any other. Everywhere bulged with colour; petals coated in a gloss that made them sparkle as they swayed. Nature buzzed, bees humming in pleasure as they move from stamen to stamen. Birds preened and taunted the breeze with their acrobatics.
It tasted of citrus. Lemon and lime mixed with smooth chocolate. That was my year of obsessing over Loop the Loop ice-creams.
He gave me the book in a brown paper bag. My name was written in tidy capitals. He smiled when I asked what it was. He didn’t need words like me.
It was the first poetry book I had ever been bought. I squealed and threw my arms around his neck. Smooth and warm it tightened at my touch.
“Read me one.”
With a nod he slid down, slumped onto the grass propped up on an elbow. As I scrambled through the pages he watched, the pull of a smile at his lips.
“Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and sliver light”
My insides fluttered under his gaze. My pulses tangled.
“The blue and the dim and the dark cloths,
Of night and light and half-light”
My voice shook, fluttered like a busy bee’s wings.
“I would spread the cloths under your feet
But I, being poor have only my dreams;”
I knew the last two lines off by heart so looked up. Let each syllable coil and float between us.
“I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”
He pulled me towards him and held me close, Me, him and the book. We lay there in a typhoon of poetry, on a perfect day in that perfect place.
I never knew he wrote this. All those years it has sat here between the yellowing pages.
A voice slides up the stairs: “Have you finished up there? The charity shops will close soon.”
I place the note inside, tuck it close to the spine and squeeze it between two books on the shelf. Picking up a box of books I head for the door.
“Yeah, I’m done. Coming now.”
I was, am and will always be; his bonita