Where did you sleep last night?

By

Mark R Lyth

When I was a child, an awfully long time ago

We would play in the street together did you know

I was only seven when I met her, skipping down the street

‘would you like to play with me’ her I would entreat

We moved into the area but I really didn’t want to play

With the children in the street but one would always say

Come and join in with the others look quick we should go

But I was so reluctant but he wouldn’t let me say no

She was shy and freckled, pony-tails and sad

Soon she became the best friend the first girlfriend I had

We grew up together did everything as one

She was like my sister everything was fun

He was tall and spotty but he was quite a lad

But those certainly were the best times I ever had

We grew up together did everything as one

He was my very own brother everything was fun

Then we were teenagers, students soon to be

we were still together for everyone to see

Do you know I never kissed her nor ever told a lie

My poor heart secretly loved her I often wondered why

We still grew together near adults now we were

He would just look after me he always seemed to care

But I swear he never kissed me this I did need

I suppose he just didn’t like me, you know that way I mean

When left our College and went our separate ways

I always thought about her on many many days

The problem was her parents rich and wanting more

I was just the poor boy never got near the door

My parents were the problem, rich and grand in ways

Always looked down on everyone who didn’t earn equal pay

To see him they forbade me I would write from time to time

But when he knocked on the door they pretend not to hear the chime

I would write to her often occasionally get a reply

I always say I miss her never could say goodbye

Then I went a while without hearing anything at all

Then one day a letter came, fell into our hall

He would write quite often made me rather mad

I couldn’t express my feelings the sadness that I had

My father’s friend had a son, Soon we were to meet

It was already decided that we should marry and keep

To tell me she was getting married can’t say I was overjoyed

Said I wasn’t welcome to go that made me so annoyed

Sent her a very long letter to say how I was pleased

When in fact, I can tell you my heartbeat now just ceased

Both sets of parents happy I’d have to write and tell

My dear loved one the happy news, not really how I felt

I didn’t want him to attend because it would sadden me

Best I try to forget him I have a life yet to lead

Time went by I realised I have my own life to live

I would have done anything my heart to her I’d give

Yes I too got married see it was my pride

That day I did think of her I wished she was my bride

A year or so later he too had tied the knot

Now I knew for sure him I wouldn’t have got

To be my loyal husband never meant to be

I loved him but couldn’t, he could but didn’t love me

Life went on without her tried not to think too often

About what could have been in reality now won’t happen

Did I ever enter into her beautiful mind

Would she ever give me a thought was she just being kind

Life went on without him tried not to think too often

About what could have been reality it will never happen

But he would always enter my mind and never leave

He was always with me as often as I breathed

Life went by in a flash soon it neared its end

A fruitful and successful time but through the motions all the same

When times were really happy and when we were sad

She would enter my thoughts and the childhood that we had

Life went by really fast I couldn’t keep up the pace

Of how things did change we always live in haste

A lot of times were happy, occasionally a little sad

But still, I thought of often the best friend I ever had

Oh to have lived my life holding tight her hand

My beautiful sweetheart, she always was so kind

I wonder if she’s living somewhere about today

If only I could see her, think of what I’d say

I’d have loved nothing better than to have him in my arms

Now I’ve grown very old I’m sure he would still charm

And keep me very happy I wonder is he alive

Did he ever think of me, I wish I’d been his wife

Now I’m in a nursing home, old worn and blind

My memories are still intact she always was so kind

did she have any children they’d be middle aged today

a life of lost opportunity I didn’t get my way

My children did look after me now I’m old and frail

Can’t do things as I used to things just start to fail

One thing I remember from all those years ago

When I was young and pony tailed to play with him I’d go

All my family come and go, see me through the week

I’ve never told them about my heart and how it weeps

For my one and only but now I’m losing my fight

I wonder where you are my love and where did you sleep last night

In a home they put me not long left I suppose

For years I was so careful my feelings I did not show

Why I often wonder perhaps something didn’t feel quite right

I wonder where you are my dear and where did you sleep last night

I can almost feel you next to me in my weakened state

Hope you’re well and happy to smile I just can’t wait

For thousand years of wishing to gaze into her eyes

Then he lets out a long last breath and softly dies

Somehow, I feel you close to me as if you are very near

I’m weak and tired my minds not gone still hold you very dear

It’s hard to breathe but I think of you as I close my eyes

She lets out a long last breath gently now she dies

The nursing home was busy they had never had two deaths

Both families were informed arrangements had to be met

They never knew each other had gone side by side

Together in the same building hearts both open wide

For the love they had for each other never did they fight

Yet they asked themselves so quietly where did you sleep last night

Photo by Taylor Lyth

I turned to writing for therapy after a long period of ill-health. I have just returned to work. I am a researcher, writer, and Mental Health Advocate.

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