West Park you have my heart by Vanessa O’Reilly

Whatever the season
there’s always a reason to visit
West Park

I usually start
on the bridge
gazing out into the distance
seeing how the trees look different
from before
I close my eyes and listen to the leaves

Our love affair began
one crisp autumn morning
me, taking photos on my mobile
you, resplendent
in red and copper

I see you less during winter
the wind across the lake is bitter
the bandstand

When spring is sprung
I return
new buds, bold squirrels
I’m cautiously snapping
angrily hissing

I’m sure I’ll never tire
of capturing the Four-Faced Liar
Scottish thistles glistening
in the summer sun

I watch as the light waves
through handkerchief trees
my unrequited love
goes on and on

But now I discover
you’ve been seeing other people

I hear whispers and giggles
from shy ladies
in jewel-coloured saris
the amiable, ‘Good Morning!’
of friendly dog walkers
overweight middle-aged joggers
puce, panting, puffed-out cheeks
running away from

I don’t really mind
I see now we’re not exclusive
I’ll try not to be jealous
because you’re polyamorous

Note: The Grade II listed clock tower was donated by Councillor John Ross in 1883. At the top are several ornate finials in the form of thistles, a nod to the fact the benefactor himself was Scottish. Known as the Four-Faced Liar because of its reputation for telling the wrong time, the clock was refurbished in 1991, since when it has proved more reliable.

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