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Wishing and Hoping and Praying

by Christopher Ingham

I have always adored Dusty Springfield.
I see her now, still, as I did back then,
At seventeen, sitting in the darkened
Hall watching her, fragile, circled by light,
Words, ordinarily trite, exploding
Like Vesuvius from her very core.

Engulfed by the lava flow of her pain
I sat, still, transfixed with adoration.
She was now for me the epitome
Of desire unobtained. Aphrodite
Frozen in time like the bodies
Forever sleeping in Pompeii houses.

She became for me the perfective light,
The reflex of a star in the dark glass
Of perpetual imagination.

Now I sit once again in a hall dark
And see you there as if for the first time,
Obliquely caught in a sliver of light,
Not centre stage in a static silvered spot;
And I, no longer seventeen, am moved,
Not by an unobtainable ideal,
But by the reality of your being.

Dusty's voice is wavering in my head,
For the last time, and I move towards you,
Slowly, wishing and hoping and praying.



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