Blue skies
with summer
clouds rolled
in when I
first caught
sight of him
as he walked
over the hill.

In that moment
we took
each other
in, as the rest
of the world
was absorbed
by our instinctive
smiles as if we knew
what the colourful
autumn would hold.

I knew enough
by then to understand
that this had to be a secret.
That the sleepovers
at his house
and walks
to the obscuring
woods around
the local hill
under the guise
of looking
for conkers
were only cover
for expressing
our teenage feelings.

No one noticed
the bags of unshelled
seeds we collected
or made the realisation
we weren’t playing

We took walks away
from everyone
and learnt
in the inevitability
of that first smile
those kisses
and clutches
on his bed
or under
horse chestnut trees.

It was the joy
of a single season
without friends
or fear
or fragile feelings,
which all
got in the way
as autumn died.


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