Dorothy reflected that, now that she was 72, people saw her as sexless. Yet she had been young once, she had been seen as a real catch, back in the 1950s when she lst her virginity on the back seat of a Ford Prefect, when her boss regularly took girls from the typing pool on drives in the country in his Zodiac. Later, as a married woman, she had been something of a femme fatale, and had had a string of affairs She had been a most desirable woman and still felt the need for the touch of a man. But who could she talk to about such things?
Then she met Claire, fifty years her junior, a girl who was fascinated by the fashions and music of the 1950s, a girl who loved sex as much as she had at the same age. They became good friends and Claire came to visit most Sundays to chat over home baked cakes and tea She taught Claire to jive. The day that Claire came to show her her new car, a 1959 Ford Zodiac, a lot of memories were awakened. Claire came roud a few days later.
‘I’ve written you a poem’ she said.
Dorothy took the hand written piece of paper and read.
Zodiac, the sign
of someone else’s life.
This car was his, not mine,
maroon and grey with
whitewall tyres and a hood,
a bench seat where he sat proud.
behind a bonnet, sculpted chrome
and the throb of a straight six.
How he lived some distant summer
with the girls he drove home
from the dance, the pleasure
of each moonlit kiss, the tricks
of light, of time’s deceiving measure.
The car rusts on bricks.
The hood rots shred by shred.
Somewhere a woman remembers.
She nurtures her distant past
mines it for the youth to shed
the aching burden of the years.
What summers were hers!
She jived with the best,
much desired for the lips
she painted signal red,
the swing of her hips.
Copyright Eve Ray 2009