Hide and seek

from by Simon Beavis

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12. Hide and seek

Tea over, we played a game of hide and seek
And I ran to the red room at the back
The one we never went to much as kids
The one that they insisted was kept black
With big thick curtains always drawn
To stop the sunshine bleaching mother’s baby grand.
And there I steeled myself and hid
The bright side of the deep red drapes
Hoping I would soon be found
Among the folds of soundless velvet.
It took an age before the door
Pushed open and then shut again
And someone turned a low lamp on.
I heard my father say – come here
And the woman that we always called Aunt Is
Replied, half with that lovely chuckle that she had:
Are you sure it's safe in here, my darling?
And he said: Just be still, my love.
The breath all tight around my heart
I pulled the curtain back the smallest bit
To see him fumble with the buttons of her shirt
And saw her tilt her long neck back
And fan the corners of her skirt
As dancers sometimes do.
Such was the mist of heat and blood across my eyes
I can’t recall what happened then
Except they heard the children rattle at the door
Before I did and nonchalantly they hid
All signs of love and passion. Hello there, my father said,
She’s not in here! Let’s try the garden and the shed -
And hurried out with them, leaving the red room black again.
At bedtime, with the story read, my sister asked my father:
What were you doing with Aunt Is this afternoon?
And mother, standing at the window, said:
So many questions, kids, so many questions
When it’s time for bed! And drew the curtains on the moon.


from A short stay in longevity, released May 25, 2013


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Simon Beavis Brighton, UK

Simon Beavis is a writer and musician based in Sussex in the UK. This is his first solo album, bringing together songs, tunes and poems written over 15 years. He has also written songs for two albums by the acoustic roots band, in cahoots.

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