JANE AND YOU AND THE PRIMROSES.
Those are primroses Jane said pointing to flowers in a hedgerow after leaving the water tower and walking by the farm the smell of cows and dung and the sound of birds and her voice distinct soft as a water coloured painting her left hand in her grey coat her hair brushed straight touching the collar we ought not to pick them she said they’re best left where they belong for all to see as you went to pick them with your fingers for your mother back home I’ll show you cowslips
they’re yellow too she added taking your hand in hers walking you onward the sun beginning to warm your face the Downs in the distance the trees the fields the variety of greens dark and light you told her about the bombsites in London where you lived how few flowers there were there growing except in the shops she listened her eyes moving over you her lips slightly parted white teeth just visible her cheeks pale the coat parted at the neck the smoothness of her skin beneath her chin
how the only birds you saw were pigeons and sparrows not the variety you’d seen around the countryside there and about you both paused as the farm came into view the buildings and farmhouse the cowshed the cowpats along the road the smell stronger look out for the black dog you said it bites and you pulled up your sleeve and showed her the healed wound on your lower arm where the dog had bitten she ran her finger over the softness of her skin on yours a tickling along your nerves as if for the first time you realized
the spark of love the joy of being alive the sensation like the first kiss months earlier the dog barked from the farm her finger lingering softly upon your arm.