151. a day at the fair *

they’re selling kisses
for a penny a pop
the local girls from the charity shop

and Jane the prettiest by far
with a pile of coins inside her jar
awaits my custom
as she caught my eye
and though I tried
could not walk by

my heart beats fast
as I step towards her
then falter as a hand upon my shoulder

I turn, you’ve guessed,
there’s no-one there
but a moment’s hesitation rarely

touched me so
as I took a guinea
and stepping forward hardly any
could believe that when I buy my kiss
it’s ugly Betty who I choose for this
and I profess that when I go
a sweeter kiss I’d never know

a lifetime’s passed now, children grown
but we’ve had heaven to call our own
a book’s not valued by it’s cover
& I wouldn’t change Betty for any other.