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Two Words

I heard a voice across the road
A girl from class I hardly knew
Not just “Hello”
But “Hello Chris”
Two words where maybe
Just one would do

It was Joy Pepper
Smoky grey eyes
And a smile so warm I’m sure
That it could melt the snow

Did I speak or just stand there
I’m not sure even to this day
Maybe I just mumbled something
Before I rode my bike away

What  had made Joy want to speak to me
That Sunday afternoon in May of sixty four
When she had only done so just once or twice before
“Hello Chris” she said
Two words where maybe one would do

I remembered in class on Friday
She had quickly glanced my way
Then turned to Linda Dawson
Whispered a secret they shared
They both laughed softly
 Perhaps some small sign that showed she cared

I could hardly wait till Monday
I would speak to Joy in break
Pluck up the courage to say
“Can I walk you home from school”
“And carry your books if I may?”

I didn’t sleep that Sunday night
Thinking of Joy Pepper
Smoky grey eyes 
And a smile so warm
It could melt the snow
“Hello Chris” she’d said
Two words where only one would do

Monday finally arrived
In class and waiting for the teacher
I glanced across and saw Joy’s  desk
And an empty chair
Joy Pepper wasn’t there

She must be sick just for today
But then Linda Dawson looked at me
And just as quickly looked away
But not before I saw the tears
She tried to brush away

The teacher reading from his list
The slightest pause as he reached her name
But moving past as if Joy Pepper
No longer did exist

I stayed behind after class
I had to know where Joy Pepper was
Had she gone for good?
Linda knew but wouldn’t say
Perhaps Mr Holman would

“Chris” he said “You have to know”
“Joy Pepper  has moved today”
“Promotion for her father down in Somerset the family say”
Back then I didn’t even know where Somerset was
Just that it was far away

So where are you now Joy Pepper?
Married to a farmer’s boy perhaps
Tending apple orchards in the sun
Remembering the day you said “Hello Chris”
Two words instead of one

Are you happy now Joy Pepper?
With your eyes of smoky grey
And do you ever think of me
With a smile to melt the snow?
“Hello Chris” I heard you say
Two words instead of one

Joy Pepper with your eyes of smoky grey
And a smile to melt the snow
Would we have had a future
I guess I’ll never know
Sad because we never shared a kiss
But happy for just those two words
A simple “Hello Chris”

Copyright © Chris Wiggins | Year Posted 2018


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  1. Date: 8/20/2018 3:57:00 PM

    Great lyrical story-telling Chris. I love the repeated “two words instead of one” line. Very enjoyable story. Oh, and I’m from Somerset, and I can tell you, Joy Pepper would have had a wonderful time after she moved ;-)
  1. Date: 8/7/2018 7:36:00 PM

    Hi Chris , Marvellous, fantastic I am a fan , great story telling, could almost be a song. Well Done. Jenny.x