[35] “Have You Ever Been Lonely?” Jenny Hockey

 

Day One at the holiday camp
I watch my cousin walk downhill,
purpose in her long slim legs,
the cut of her Doris Day shorts,
that blouse.

She’s dreamed of romance
for years. So have I. Now she knows
all the words, how to catch an eye.

Mum mustn’t let her
out of her sight, let something take place
I don’t understand—

Think of the shame.

Mum sends me down
to fetch my cousin back

from the low tent
where she’s stretched out
with the boys, laughing.

Three faces look up
at me, pigeon-toed on the grass,
my socks collapsed
over plimsolls,

the syrup of Patsy Cline
oozing from the transistor.

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