A Strange Autumnal Day (A Romeo and Juliet Tale) – Vincent Edward Manda











Above the mysterious river

Stood an unnamed bridge

Connecting two towns that were

In bitter contention over

Whereupon the bridge between them

The sun stopped shining on one

And began brightening the other.


In many heated debates

About which was more beautiful;

Dawn or Dusk,

Blood was shed

And what should have been

The appreciation of beauty

Became an enmity

The kind of which

Tore relationships apart.


On a some such day I stood

On the bridge thinking how

Autumn was a perplexing thing;

Controlling life’s simple choices

Such as the day’s attire,

For though that gaseous orb blazes

From on high,

The windy breeze is chilly

And the ever earlier setting sun

Explodes into a million twinkling dots

Amidst a youthful blood moon filled evening

Weakly seeping into an orangey red substance

That disappears in a sea of navy blue

Characterised by wispy grey shapes,


And all before you get home.


I saw the lovers then;

Entangled on opposite ends of the bridge

In the dusky death throes

Of a late September afternoon


The boy: in black boots, jeans and a leather jacket,

Was running and yelling

From one end,

But the girl: prettily clad in a flowing green skirt

Which complemented the shining red mane

Falling in cascades of locks

Over a tiny faded blue denim jacket

Tightly buttoned against the white blouse

Covering her pale skin,

Made it to the middle first.


She hesitated on top of

The edge of the bridge’s barrier –

Arms stretched out

In some form of supplication,


And then like that,

With nary a whisper

Of the weeping wind

In the leaves of silver birches

Lining the river’s division

Of two territories,

She was gone,

With hardly an audible splash.


The boy arrived too late

And I never  saw either of them again…


his name rhymes with ‘mince’. He’s rarely without a notebook and can usually be found next to the closest bottle of red wine. Previously a writer for The Roehampton Lane Journal.

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