The Kissing Gate

In summer they walked, trudging the hills and lanes,
Gathering berries and crab apples ne’er to be eaten,
Talking just talk, daydreaming, pondering,
Singing their made-up songs and wandering
Fields so warm and wheaten.

And after the field, they reached the kissing gate.
They paused at first, and then, with love anew,
O’er cedar bars they sparred like two possessed
And raced on home to give their best
To what the young must do.

And now the crusts of greying snow they tramp.
No matter the weather, no matter the chilly tide.
Come winter, they ramble the old, familiar routes,
Snapping the wheaty stubs in easy boots
In fields where field mice hide.

And after the field, before the path winds on,
The cedar bars, still strong, invite their rest.  They wait,
And there, where lips had first sparked fire, still strong,
Still white burns their desire, and long
They linger at the kissing gate.

Simon Mayor