With apologies to Marcel Proust
I only have to dunk a Jammie Dodger
In PG Tips and I’m transported back
To Lincolnshire and the old railway track
I mooched along in melancholy youth,
The line long gone; now flowers grew between
Abandoned sleepers: eyebright, eglantine,
Foxglove, selfheal, Good King Henry, poppy,
Dock, dandelion, mayweed, bryony,
Vetch, viper’s bugloss, mallow, ox-eye daisy.
I’d read somewhere the smell of hawthorn flowers
Evoked the musky tang of randy girls,
A hint of almond and vanilla twirls;
So I breathed long and deep, imagining
A girl beside me lying on the grass
Resembling Odette in Montparnasse,
Though what I’d do with her was rather vague.
Recite Le Cyne? Tickle her with a frond?
I wasn’t yet au fait with demi-monde.
I wandered on, entered the secret wood
Which reeked of foxes, made for the hollow tree
Where I'd concealed Health and Efficiency.
I thumbed its pages. Naked bodies romped
In games of tennis, beach ball and croquet;
Pas érotique, I really have to say.
What would I do with women anyway?
Especially those healthy, sporty dykes
On pedalos or pedalling their bikes?
No, it was better to admire from far,
And not immerse myself in the corporeal,
But rusticate myself in the arboreal
Railway embankment and its milieu.
My back against a tree, my mind in haste
Returned to former loves both pure and chaste:
A cuddly toy, a hoop, a spinning top,
A sailor suit, glass marbles in a jar —
And, best of all, a kiss from dear mama.