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My First Love by Phil McNulty

It was mere luck.
Leaning on the rail,
the ozone, sea spray, rolling waves and essence of fuel oil,
the channel swell of white topped, black, water,
pulling us away from Dover
drawing us to Zeebrugge,
as my watch fell from my left wrist,
landed in my right hand.
A sign of luck.
 
And then I nudged your arm.
Next to mine on the rail of passengers excited by the sea.
'I'm sorry.' I said.
You pouted and smiled. Hazel-brown eyes, sun tanned hair.
'You English. You are so polite.' 
We stood close and talked,  
with the warm breeze, the throb of the deck,
the boats surge through the flattening sea,
invisible amongst the passengers.
The young hitch hiker and the beautiful French girl.
 
Then, after hours that felt like minutes,
it was the end of the affair.
With you to Paris, me to Luxembourg.
And that was that.
Just the memory of the sun, the sea, the watch, time suspended
and being with Brigitte Bardot on a channel crossing.
Well.... Pascal du Monde de Charleroi.
Even your name was beautiful.
And I remember and remember it.