About the Author

Marie is an instructor of English at Sacred Heart University and recently completed her MFA in Creative Writing at Fairfield University. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children and her faithful English Springer Spaniel, "the artful" Dodger.
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Spread the Word

Bishop’s Park

Never seek to tell thy love,

Love that never told can be;

For the gentle wind doth move

Silently, invisibly. 

-          William Blake

I came upon him quite unexpectedly one morning when, turning out from the courtyard of Fulham Palace in Bishop’s Park, I looked up to find him sitting on an old brick wall near the gate leading to the Botanic gardens. He was one of the privileged ones – able to spend his days amidst the well-tended gardens and groves of the Palace grounds. I was a free-lance journalist, and part-time shop girl, seeking refuge from my work amidst musty antiques and from a blank page in my notebook.  We were, looking back on it now, made for one another. I had just come from the courtyard fountain where children had been tossing coins into its glistening water. If only my remaining in London were as simple as wishing it to be possible, I thought. My wages as a shop girl could only take me so far and my future in the city I had come to love was uncertain.

In the next moment, he was there – in all his splendor – and I knew then why England was so special to me. All those vague yearnings that had led me to leave the security of a job and home were crystallized in that immediate moment when I lit upon him. I suppose there are all kinds of love and this was the sort that a devotee of the British Romantic poets was prone to – it was instant and instinctive. Any doubts I had been harboring about my recent move to London – centered mostly on the lack of a well-paying job and dwindling savings -  left me in a rush of emotion in that moment when I saw him. I stifled a gasp.

He did not see me at first, so I enjoyed the advantage of studying him – unobserved – from a shadowed place against the courtyard wall where I watched him with the awe of a smitten school girl around her first crush. He struck the kind of elegant pose that one completely self-assured and within the security of one’s own element assumes without effort. I admired him for looking so – I hesitate to use the word more generally applied to a woman but – beautiful. Yes, he looked so absolutely beautiful – coiffed and groomed, elegant and stately. There was a moment of agitation when he noticed me peering up at him from the shadows, but I couldn’t remove my adoring gaze. I had been transfixed and was unashamed of falling under his spell. He settled back into a deliberate nonchalance, evidently too comfortable to give up his lovely vantage point overlooking the gardens, despite my intrusion into his world. Neither of us uttered a sound.

Any thought of walking along my previously laid-out path – onward through the garden gate – was relinquished. I was afraid that my any move would result in his bolting off. Or, perhaps worse, I feared that he might remain indifferent to my continuing on my way, when I so desperately wanted to see if any communication was possible between us. I wasn’t ready to give him up yet, when a miracle of happenstance had brought us together...(continued)