While I wait, the clock chimes.
I note time’s passing and the hour
Of bewitchment nears,
Weaving the magic of years.
Can a single second add maturity,
Or responsibility of a sudden kind?
Does the right to roll home drunk and appear on the electoral roll
Depend upon a minute’s passing?
Is there a difference
(Like day and night, like dark and light,
Like sweet and sour, like here and gone,)
Between this moment and the next one?
I have been powerless to show my love
Until the new day proves you adult,
Just turned sixteen (and sweet, unkissed);
But soon we can consumate our dream.
What if the striking hour should turn you back
Into an ordinary man,
Available at last, no longer charmed?
Could that enchantment fade so fast?
Before we find out, before time has had time
To trick our senses, plays with our love like a wanton god,
At exactly midnight I shall kiss you and say,
I ought, perhaps, to point out that I am British and in UK the ‘age of consent’ (for both men and women) is 16. The voting age is, however, 18. I should also make it clear that this was written with a particular story in mind, and both protagonists in the story are teenagers – the narrator is not intended to be me! I had been reading about the tragedy of teenagers placed on the sex offenders’ register because they dared to love each other at just the wrong age, and their parents not only objected but called down the full force of the law. I think most police forces and prosecutors are more lenient today, but this was written a few years ago.