Somewhere along the road of life, someone catches our eye. And in the blink that follows, your life seems changed forever. It could be a smile, a well turned phrase or just “something” that tells you that your first instincts are correct.


Part 7: AT FIRST SIGHT… Write about falling in love for the first time. You can change the names if you feel more comfortable, or not even write of the “other half,” just tell us what the experience was like for you.  It’s your first inklings of love that we seek. What antics did you both engage in? What kind of things did you do on a date?  Tap the memory banks for this one. And then write it.


1974 – 1989

New state,
New town,
New high school.
My sophomore year, I spot you.
I say to my new friend,
“Someday, I will marry him.”

I recall my mother telling my sister,
“Use your eyes, Peg.”
And so I “use” my eyes.
Is that what caught your attention?
I can’t say for sure, but it seemed to me
You used your eyes as well.

We walk Naples beach.
We hold hands,
Play football in the sand,
Sit close on the band bus for “away” games.
We talk, and laugh, and hug
And can’t say goodbye.

My senior year, we marry.
We enjoy each others’  company.
We enjoy our three children.
Just shy of thirteen years,
We say that goodbye.

One of us needed no one else.
One, apparently not.

© Marie Elena Good



From across the pond you beamed,
a bit too perky with that quirky smile.
Full of style and wide of eye,
I’d spy every fawning glimpse I could.
I should have known I’d be shown the door
to your heart. This was our start.
Long before anorexia depleted you,
years before cancer defeated you,
we shared what true hearts share.
Hidden in that soulful stare,
I found you and had discovered love.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012

295 thoughts on “AT FIRST SIGHT… – PROMPT #72


    Date ? Nah, I don’t want a man.
    I’d had men up to here.
    Friend who was no friend insisted
    and sent him round
    to introduce himself.
    Said friend arrived late –
    crafty cow. By then I was hooked.

    Dancing away with gay abandon
    bra-less dress fell off
    shock horror.
    He was a gentleman,
    but he was hooked.

    5 weeks later, we were wed.

  2. Fun reading Walt and Meg! For me… this one is much too painful to even think about… so I will just enjoy everyone’s.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that, Hen. Mine ended painfully as well, which is perhaps why my poem is flat, lacks imagination, and is rather lifeless. If I find it in me, I may write another for the memoir project. For now, this one will stand.

      Hugs to you.
      Marie Elena

    • I think there is always one of these events for each of us that smack too painfully to fully explore, Hen. Yet, along with the pain, I find surcease as well.

      I think all of us can understand your feelings in this. We’ve all been there at one time or another. Rest easy, my friend.

    • Hen, so sorry for your pain.

      A few years back, a larger number of my memories many good were balled up with pain. I left those neat little bundles alone. With the gentlest of coaxing of these wonderful poets, little by little, I coaxed the stands of good from the tumultuous chaotically jagged painful memories.

      I cried, I weeped, I raged, I writhed… the golden heavenly light on the other side was worth every fresh tear.

      Should you consider it, Hen, rest assured that you are surrounded with most loving people who will naturally support you through this.

      Blessing be upon you.

  3. Love
    (it turns out) is not a Fall-In. You thought
    you had figured it out and Love
    was black ice. An oil slick on an inclined plane
    of varying amplitude
    and you are a Looney Tunes lover
    with your arms full of flowers and rainbows that
    (beep-beep) only defy gravity for a count of three.

    You get used to the irregular footing,
    then one night the music fades and
    it’s after midnight, and
    we’ve been sitting in
    a parking lot for hours, talking
    about the Lais of Marie de France.

  4. Now this is a topic I’ve written on many times. I’ll share an older one for now and work on trying to pull another poem out of that old memory during the week.

    Snow Blind

    The fluorescent gas station glow
    Turned flurries into falling stars.
    Matching footprints in virgin snow,
    Hand in hand we walked.
    He leaned closer, then kissed me,
    One perfect moment
    When the rest of the world melted away,
    Leaving only the two of us
    And a shower of stars.

    But the snow melted
    Much as he melted out of my life,
    A memory etched in the frost of yesterday.
    I’ve chased that kiss for twenty winters now.
    I’ve sought refuge from the blizzard
    With poor substitutes unable to thaw my icy heart.
    One came close, but he turned colder
    And I barely escaped his glacial chill.

    I still brave the cold,
    Hoping my lonely set of footprints
    Will once again find its match
    As I search for that perfect moment,
    When one kiss made the world melt away
    In a shower of falling stars.

  5. These poems are all so beautiful and heartbreaking, from Marie’s personal heartache to Walt’s heartbreak to Viv’s embarrassment and Mary’s chill. Barbara’s seems hopeful, and I totally related to Henrietta not wanting to reveal the pain. This is a wonderful and difficult prompt!


    It was not like Disney,
    with the handsome prince
    and the white horse
    and the happily ever after.

    It was embarrassment
    and confusion
    and a lack of understanding
    and perhaps mild obsession.

    When he was around
    I couldn’t speak,
    I couldn’t think,
    I could barely remain upright.

    I thought of little else
    for nearly two years.
    I watched him from afar
    and ached inside.

    He thought about me too—never.
    didn’t know I existed.
    didn’t know cared.
    still doesn’t.

  7. Kissing

    You were seventeen, I was fourteen.
    I loved how your deep voice boomed in the night,
    even though you were describing an x-rated movie scene.
    One evening, you drove me home, driving like a maniac,
    but I loved how it felt to fly down Pennsylvania roads.
    For fourteen months, we were inseparable,
    playing basketball, kissing, walking in the woods,
    kissing, going bowling, kissing, watching movies,
    kissing, going to church, kissing, hanging out with friends,
    kissing, tinkering with ham radio in your shop,
    kissing, painting your MGB bright orange, kissing.
    After dates, huddled in a kitchen corner,
    we sipped mint tea, munched cinnamon toast,
    talked and kissed with an eye toward my parents’ room.
    We spent the next three years trying to break up
    but always getting back together,
    until we just got sick of each other. Fast forwarding
    almost three years, you met my fiancé and you hit it off.
    Somehow you ended up in our wedding party
    and our wedding was on your birthday.
    Every once in awhile you pop up in my dreams
    and we’re usually kissing.

    • Good memories – couple great friend of mine today are old-x’s.
      Good friends with my hubby too. 🙂

    • Aw, Connie, I won’t ask how you managed that. I’m simply glad that it works for you, and for you Marjory. I’ve never achieved this last maneuver, but I think mostly because I don’t ever rejoin the same circles that would allow for reacquaintance.

      This poem was good, really good. Enjoyed this tug o’ war.

      • 40 year class reunion (only one I have been too) we met again – in good friendship – since then, we and our spouses have double dated several times and even vacationed together. :0 It is good we live over a thousand miles apart.!
        Another x’s brother married my sister and we share a niece and nephew. 🙂

        • That’s keeping it close, Marjory. I’m afraid I couldn’t do that. Just not in me. Good for you, though, that you can. Kudos!

  8. Loving what people are doing with this one. Musing over here about how first love shifts, and often leaves other’s expectations in the dust, as well as our own expectations. Loving is so hard sometimes… Forgive the unintended pun of the title!

    Love at Versailles

    Of course it was, since we were but
    seeing ourselves in the other, busy
    reflecting and being reflected. A glorious

    palace in France, where I was the king
    and you Antoinette, and we gave them all
    cake and white lace, while the congregation sang.

    Soon enough came night to undress us both
    and we were strangers after all, running
    through crowds as the tumbrils rolled.

    For what is love, at the last, but a chasing
    down cobbled streets, an irrational hope,
    while every passing face thinks you mad.

  9. It is so heartwarming to know we have all been there, one way or another… I have definitely learned to walk in steady grace, calm and dignity… Thank you to everyone for sharing! ❤ !

  10. A Hard Lesson Learned

    Love at first sight I thought
    a fairy tale dream, something
    only to happen in movies such as
    Against All Odds; and the odds
    seemed against me until that night
    when I first spotted him standing
    next to the keg, toga clad and
    drunk-like glad to meet my eyes
    in a skip beat of the heart lock.

    Months later and unwillingly, I
    gave him the key to everything
    behind the church one foggy night
    when I’d had one too many bottles of
    champagne (and, yes, I said bottles)
    distilling all plans for a virginal
    wedding. I clung to him: four years
    of sex on the beach, in the car,
    at the top of the monkey bars,
    under blankets, over toilets in
    gas stations and bars filled with
    alcoholic delusions that something
    might make him want to marry me one day.

    • You’ve painted that delusion carried by so many in vivid colors, Laurie. II’m glad you came away with a lesson that you could choose not to repeat. Excellent job!

    • There are times when all we have is hope, and the known we have is less scary than an empty unknown ahead. As hard as it is to let go, sometimes it is the only thing to do.

    • Laurie, this is so sad. And so sadly true.
      I love the word bump of this line:
      “toga clad and
      drunk-like glad”

      Your list of descriptions at the end gives this such a suitably grim tone. Well done.

    • That is a tough lesson, Laurie. I love the lines,
      “Months later and unwillingly, I
      gave him the key to everything”
      It is what we always try to tell our daughters, but it never works. This poem should be in every teen magazine–but it still wouldn’t work…

    • Laurie, this is such a hard story, bravely told. That skip beat of the heart lock and the longing against all reason. Thanks for passing on the lesson, and for your willingness to live on and up.

    • This is painful to read — I, perhaps, could identify too closely with hoping amazing sex would lead to marriage. …and I didn’t even have the excuse of alcohol. I was delusional stone cold sobber. 🙂

  11. A Too Early Spring

    The world exploded, disappeared
    In the library stacks, the first warm day
    When spring touched Cleveland, you and I
    Intent on our assignments, too busy to say

    “Excuse me” , or even “Oopsie” when
    A pile of books came tumbling down
    We turned together, was damage done?
    Books scattered everywhere, there was one–

    We reached for it, our fingers touched
    An electric shock, it stunned, amazed!
    Held captive, breathless, each others eyes
    Met and I remember still, through all these days…

    Your skin was tan and mine was white
    Two college kids, that first warm afternoon–
    You turned away and I did, too. It was what
    We were brought up to do – In that spring
    Of nineteen hundred fifty two.

  12. “First Love” Is Not Forgotten…

    College days,
    gang of friends together,
    growing, sharing many ways,
    having fun, dating.

    One day – “All I can say is
    I love you.” I heart-full voice.
    “I wish I could say the same, but I can’t.”
    Came his rueful choice.

    Determinedly I waited
    to hear the words I wanted.

    So waited I several years,
    Finally one first day of April,
    I stopped waiting,
    and said goodbye.

    • This speaks to many of us, I think, Marjory. Unrequited love, lust, or infatuation; we tend to do this without real purpose. You’ve captured the essence of the condition. I’m glad you found more value elsewhere, my friend.

    • Oh, YES, Marjory. I had one of these in my 20s. “I love you but I’m not in love with you.” That goodbye should have come sooner, but I’m grateful it finally came.

      • Whims, Meena, Laurie, Marie – I think Claudsy captured it in her reply. The ‘story’ is old and oft’ repeated. Hopefully we (and others) can each gain some positive ‘stuff’ from the experience and go on to find the right relationship. “What ifs…” just do not work… or help. and the heart has room for more love.

  13. Pingback: Part 7: AT FIRST SIGHT | Two Voices, One Song

  14. Always a First Time

    He taught me to kiss
    On muggy summer nights
    Distant from family laughter,
    Finding our own hilarity
    Amid fireflies and tall sweet grasses.

    He taught me to trust
    That falling would not hurt,
    Even when the ground seemed
    Far away in his arms, carried
    As a child in safety and strength.

    He taught me to linger
    On thoughts of the now
    And a moment’s experience,
    Knowing that now belonged
    To Forever’s memories.

    He taught me to remember
    His heart when kisses ended
    And time moved forward into
    Tomorrows that tested trust
    In Love’s reality and fealty.

  15. Treacherous Goosebumps
    By: Meena Rose

    Everyone’s friend,
    Social butterfly,
    Belle at the ball;
    Those were all things
    They would say.

    Never once did I
    Still myself to
    Look, to see, to feel;
    Until you unabashedly
    Plunked yourself down.

    Between one heartbeat
    And next, the trapped
    Air seared my lungs
    Refusing to exhale
    As tingles of shock

    Coursed through me;
    Your left thigh
    Plastered against
    My right; your
    Crisp minted breath

    Chilling ear lobes
    Suddenly exposed –
    Suddenly needy as
    Goosebumps marched
    Down my neck and

    Around the front
    Descending into the
    Abyss of cleavage;
    I felt your eyes
    Chase down those

    Pesky goosebumps;
    I saw you hold back
    From peering in for
    A finer look; yet,
    My face flushed

    All the same as you
    Relaxed into your skin
    And I, caught in your
    Enigmatic snare, lost
    Myself for the first time.

  16. Kevin Quirino

    Second grade.
    First day.
    First sight.
    Blue eyes in the 3rd row
    blond hair falling just so
    just below
    blue chambray collar.

    Valentine’s Day.
    My desk covered in candy.
    Your shy eyes as you add
    just one more


  17. “A love tale”

    We shared coded talks of crazy love—
    my study buddy who loved his mummy.

    We’d shoot pool between Bio and Psych,
    share a bowl of ramen noodles,
    hike a trail or two on breaks,
    whisper under the stars
    about God and goals,
    talents and roles.

    He for me.
    I for him.
    We for we.

    This tale of a lazy love
    lost, I tell with lament and
    a hint of a smile.

  18. Marie E.
    Your story is so reminiscent of my mom’s (just years later). Year 1951, my mom at 28, incomplete education, few job skills, three girls in tow, left our wonderful island to land us in LA, CA to build a new life. It also built a family unit-strength that continued over the years and finally she remarried and they had over 40 years of sharing together.

    What both of you gained was a special family that is yours. 🙂

  19. Walt – with all the school buses on the roads, school kids with buldging back packs and mom’s sharing quiet cups of tea….. I half expected a prompt about “Your first day of school” 🙂

      • Excuse me while I catch my breath from laughing!! 🙂

        I was not (as you will know!) thinking of the two prompts as One! I surely was not thinking at all about ‘…playing the field’ back then on my first day of school.

        Where there boys back then????

          • ….and was available in some areas in only limited supply. I am sure that there are many young ladies today who are not aware of its possible availability and selective usage.
            … Warning: Too much repellent can lead to extended reaction to any possibility of cootie-presence and can effect relationships for many years.
            …There is present-day research being conducted on an counter-repent for use of those in the CAA (similar to the AAA) who are having difficulty with the long-term repellant effects. Hopefully the Counter-cootie-lotion (CCL) will be available for testing in the general puplic before the end of 2013.
            …Meanwhile it is hoped that suffers are able to locate a local CAA chapter and begin the longterm steps towards recovery.
            …For more information please contact the National. Headquarters of the CAA in DeCot, USA to learn more about the current research and location of a CAA chapter near you.
            …Wishing you the ‘best’ on your road to recovery.
            …From a past president of the NCAA, _______ 🙂

          • Do you think that might work for those of us who’re “up there in years,” Marjory? I mean, limited incomes require careful and judicious use of funds. 🙂

          • I understand that there are periodic “specials” available to those on low income. The CC-lotion is not age-specific. Please contact the National CAA headquarters in DeCot, USA and ask for an application to apply for a coupon. It is well worth investigating. I believe the zip code is ZO101-HOPE.

  20. A young girl, only 15,
    Her daddy has been gone for five years,
    She develops a strong crush on a 21 year old gentleman
    He indeed proves to be a true gentleman and for years
    Treats her like a beloved little sister.

    She follows him everywhere, tells him her hopes and dreams.
    He listens patiently, offers advice when asked
    He tells her she is beautiful, but too young for him.
    She falls hard, in her heart she believes that one day…

    They remain close friends for years
    And years, through his marriage,
    Her marriage, her divorce, his divorce,
    Still close, dear friends.

    He tells her that he has always loved her.
    at first, she was a kid, his little sister, then
    He wasn’t willing to risk one of the best friendships he had ever had
    Once she grew up. They have lived very separate lives,
    But have always loved each other dearly.
    They always will..
    Remain close, dear friends.

  21. “He wasn’t willing to risk one of the best friendships he had ever had”
    I hear that! It is one of the most dangerous lines. I think people know when the risk is too great. Your poem is great at well!

  22. I admire this website, as I’ve been reading your poetry prompts for a while and finally gathered up the courage to post a (somewhat abstract) poem of my own. My first love was unrequited, hence the title:


    Your name wore shades of distant lands
    and loomed above my own,
    protected by a piece of glass
    enframed in greying stone.

    The poetry of every sound,
    such courtly mystery,
    ensnared the hollows of my bones
    and cast my soul to sea.

    And when my drenched and giddy soul
    was finally washed ashore,
    it stumbled on your voice and face
    and your entrancing core.

    With oblique gestures, my soul crawled
    inside its barren home
    and built a shine of shells and pearls,
    of sand-domes and sea-foam.

    Upon that shrine, it laid to rest
    each kindly word and smile
    which you would deign to drop my way
    each once in a far while.

    Though years have passed and other waves
    have drawn my soul offshore,
    these treasures whisper of the love
    my timid soul once bore.

  23. Well, my poem is probably stretching this prompt a little. I’m only fifteen and have never dated or anything. But hey, even a fifteen-year-old can fall in love. I also couldn’t exactly call this “At First Sight” cause, well, for a while I hated this guy’s guts. In school when his class was younger, they were always pretty mean to the littler grades(in other words, me;)) But he’s matured a lot since then. Anyway, here goes:

    I’ve known you all my life,
    Our families even longer;
    We went to school together
    (Well, you were four grades older)
    Until you graduated.
    I don’t know when I realized
    That I loved you heart and soul,
    But now I know for certain,
    There’ll never be another guy for me.
    We’re different in many ways:
    You are tall, at least six feet,
    Slim, althletic, while I am short, clumsy,
    And, I have to admit, haven’t lost all my baby fat.
    The only things we have in common
    Are our deep brown eyes
    And our love of playing the piano.
    You play the piano for church,
    And from my place in the choir,
    I watch your fingers fly over the keys
    And wish that I could play as well.
    When I’m near you I feel nervous,
    Shy and really stupid.
    But you’re always very kind,
    Helpful and obliging.
    I wish that I could see the thoughts
    That flash through that handsome head of yours;
    But for now I can only wait,
    Hoping that some day I’ll be more to you
    Than just a little friend.

  24. Part of memoir – At First Sight

    Not the scent of freshly sharpened
    pencils, pink eraser nubs, or cloying
    perfume wafting through air
    from a neck of considerable
    proportion, or my teacher’s steely-
    eyed gaze, zapping rays from icy
    blue eyes, could tear me away
    from that dark haired, olive-
    complected boy sitting
    diagonally across from me.
    My eleven year-old heart
    beat out rhythms, he was
    the one, he was the one.

    An end-of-school setting
    sun streaked the sky, shining
    down on our faces–some
    secretly made up–and summer
    dresses swirled on tanned legs,
    as we entered a balloon-festooned
    area set for the local pool party.
    Jukebox shook, music blared,
    and I danced with my future
    husband-prince. It was our first

    and last dance together, it seemed,
    as the night wore down to black.
    Glimpses of him dancing, talking,
    and laughing with other girls
    made my face flush, my stomach
    plunge. Walking home, the stars
    were less silvery, and we less
    talkative. I asked him why
    he ignored me after that first
    dance. He said, “My father told me
    to mingle.” Short-lived romance
    but lucky escape from a pompous
    future father-in-law.

  25. Oh My Love

    In the twilit moments of our lives
    How is it we still burn for each other
    With flames scarlet and heat unceasing

    Is it the way your eyes hold mine
    Unwavering, the way they always have
    That turns my yearning self molten

    Do you find yourself recalling the firsts
    As I do – that kiss on my parent’s porch?
    When I knew you were the one – that kiss
    That stole my breath and my heart …

    Or when you laid me down in the farmer’s field
    At day’s end, at the lake and taught me oh-so-many
    Things – things that still make me blush to recall –
    I was certain you were experienced …

    You – who were honest to a fault, I was to learn –
    Swore you were not, just exceptionally well-read
    And a patient and excellent teacher
    And I, a “quick study”, as you put it, became
    The willing and lucky recipient of your knowledge
    (I forget when I admitted to becoming rather well-read myself …)

    No wonder we love the song, “Remember When”
    We were each others’ firsts and decided that it did matter
    Even if I did end up breaking your heart over and over again

    Never quite able to allow myself to believe
    That what we had was real – that, in fact you were
    The real deal; I ran from you, from us, all too often

    You did me the honour of never falling out of love
    With me but allowing me to fall back in love
    With you every time I re-found my sanity

    It took me a long time to realize my luck
    My love, that the feeling I get from you
    Is true and good and unlike any other

    When you tell me no-one will ever love me
    As much or as well as you do – I do know
    It’s true – I regret only that it has taken me
    So long to believe you, to trust you when
    You said not everyone I loved would
    Walk away, would eventually leave me
    That abandon was not a word you knew
    Especially when it came to me

    It took me decades to wrap my mind
    Around that notion but I think I have
    It finally, accept the fact of it – you love
    Me and I you and a more fortunate couple
    We agree, we just don’t know …

    I’ve got it now; you really were the first boy
    Who said, “I love you” and meant it
    And you say it still every single day …

  26. First Love Lost

    Is love learnt, like arithmetic,
    or practised in endless repeat like a tune
    played to perfection, fingered on a flute
    with sharp little notes that catch the ear
    and hang long and tender like a dangling
    bobbled pearl. Or is love slender, like a wisp
    of hair that floats in whispers through the air,
    slipping away under gaps below locked doors.
    Or are we born to love, like we are born
    to laugh, to breathe or blink or cry. It was not
    necessary that you teach me to cry, to howl,
    to weep; I already knew how to do that.

  27. First Love

    He was handsome, enchanting, and I
    (mature for my years)
    fell hard for his debonair charm

    Marriage may have crossed my mind,
    but we were way too young, and besides,
    he never asked me (or did he?)

    One day, he moved away and we drifted
    apart; years later he broke my heart
    calling me another’s name

    These days, I can smile,
    reminisce on our first kiss
    (and the ring he bestowed)
    on the playground at recess
    (from a gumball machine)
    in kindergarten

  28. OK, I managed to squeeze another poem out of that old memory…seems this topic is a bottomless well of inspiration.

    A First Love Challenge

    Writing a poem about you,
    More than twenty years removed,
    Is not that hard to do.

    Icy blue eyes,
    Lanky frame,
    Strong hands
    That could not resist
    My curves,
    Indelible marks
    In my memory.
    My taste for
    Biker-cowboy-badass swagger
    Was first found at your lips.
    Even now
    I lose myself in you
    When Jeff Healey plays
    In a random radio moment.
    The faintest wisp
    Of your cologne
    Makes my heart race,
    My eyes desperately searching,
    Only to find unknown faces
    That aren’t yours.
    Every emotion
    From hope to heartache
    Is forever tinged
    With your essence,
    An echoing undercurrent
    That shades my entire world.

    Writing a poem about you…
    That’s the easy part.
    The real challenge
    Is writing a poem that isn’t.

  29. Quick Love

    We kissed a lot, we danced we sang,
    he taught me to shoot a gun.
    The first boyfriend I ever had,
    made church camp lots of fun.
    He said he loved me, I said it back;
    it seemed the thing to do.
    Amazing how that “love” died out
    before the year was through.

    © KED 2012

    • Puppy love. Been there with a trumpet player named Steve. A first, a last, and all in one day. Still 13 had advantages. 16 wouldn’t have been nearly as good.

      Thanks, Kelly, for the fun poem to lighten mood and memory.

  30. A Double “Love” Haiku

    Teen love is really
    just a warm-up for the best
    love that comes your way.

    is the school room of true love
    practice for perfect.

    © KED 2012

  31. First Love

    He was a swimmer:
    Fit and tan, a blond lock of hair
    curling on his forhead,
    eyes like sapphires
    burning into mine.
    He was Adonis
    on the pool deck.
    We swam in the same water
    for a few years;
    we swam in separate rivers,
    struggling up-current.
    A radical shift
    in the water’s course
    left me dripping on the shore.
    I sought out his ocean,
    held my breath,
    and jumped in.

  32. Second Sight

    I found you when I didn’t know I was looking,
    when I thought the broken heart I nursed
    was somehow beyond repair, not yet aware
    that anyone who didn’t want me back
    wasn’t worth my tears, my time.

    I was out of my element, wandering into yours,
    seeing you there, a few rows in front of me,
    a name I knew, a face I recognized,
    having traveled the same paths on different
    schedules until, finally, we coincided.

    Call it fate, perfect alignment of our stars, providence,
    or darned good luck, but there you were, and there
    you found me. Swapping stories, we discovered
    that we shared friends, goals, ready laughter.
    From the formality of that first phone call,
    a Friday night dinner and movie, life began.

    That first late-night conversation grew quickly
    into love, the only surprise–that it took us
    so long to find our way to one another.
    I marvel that I never saw your name in tea leaves
    or rolled up inside my fortune cookie. I think
    I see you in the background of all my old photographs.

  33. Radar

    Tommy Joyner was too old for me by a dozen years—and pivotal years, what with his being eighteen, while I was an old five. But he could wield a bus like no driver I’d ever seen, and he was ruggedly gruffly gentle, taking my hand in his giant one and helping me up and down the tall steps of the bus. Girls, even little ones, have radar designed to locate good mates, always comforted if a man is kind to women and children. Old ladies, telling my big sisters that they would “just know” when they’d found Mr. Right, were talking radar. My unskilled apparatus had found a winner, and I wooed him with gum and giant auto air freshener roses that stuck right onto his windshield. He was my protector from the evil Donald who tied my pigtails to the bus seats and made rude comments about my favorite hot pink crinoline. Bastard, my radar delineated, especially now that I’d found my prince, soon to graduate and leave me to grow up and go to college, only occasionally remembering my first crush. When I declared that Tommy was my first love at a recent family reunion, my sister said he was as dumb as a box of rocks in school, and said we would have made a beautiful couple. I learned that there are all kinds of seeing, all kinds of loving, some with more depth than others. Eyes, like x-rays, can focus on muscles or the bones beneath. I also learned that tall, muscular bad boys offended my radar and intrigued me in delicious ways. First sightings were like shopping for aircraft—impractical but fun to imagine them slicing through the sky, engines at full throttle.


    Your eyelash settled on dusted cheek
    and rose and fell in silent sigh,
    as breath and beat held sleeping court
    and skin surrendered to the sheets,
    with whispered tones of almond and honey.
    I watched, held court, with time’s assent,
    that rise and fall of chest and belly,
    in wonder at the touch and feel,
    of love made manifest in life.
    You slept, not seeing what I saw,
    nor hearing gentled tones of sound,
    which sleep allowed escape and cause;
    reminded me of what I had.
    The dawn had given form to shape,
    had filled the vision lastly felt,
    and drawn my eyes to deeper truths,
    which lay in languorous, light salute.
    And in that moment, you were mine,
    in all that life could offer up;
    a holding fast to absolutes – illusion smiled at both of us.

  35. This Is Kinda What Love Looks Like

    The bigger one pushed them down
    on the noisy playground
    in the rut under the swing set
    while the squeaky one announced
    their marriage. Not yet consummated
    nor annulled yet finally the beginning
    of the blind period where the feet
    never touch the ground and the vision
    is not very clear. What is wasn’t was
    simply a one way sacrifice
    or a dream come true.

    By Michael Grove

  36. Raging

    I wished that you were mine
    as we’re staging cupid and the dove
    while reading all the signs.

    It always did feel fine.
    It seems aging comes from up above
    or only in our minds.

    I walked down that fine line
    between raging hormones and true love
    just one too many times.

    By Michael Grove

  37. I didn’t tell you about any of the others
    because it would have been tedious.
    I fell for almost anyone with whom I made eye contact
    (not so many as you might think
    as I was usually looking down or away)
    or was day-to-day around if he was smart. I’d stay
    in love with his idea, whoever he was
    for hours or years
    without as far as I knew his ever knowing he had been loved.

    Then there came to be Harold,
    who was beautiful
    and brilliant, exotic and funny and alone and bitter and electric
    and talked to me, not only as part of the cluster, me.
    Sought me out. Over years, we evolved an odd jousting
    form of conversation full of cuts
    and casual affection. I had no fiction
    to teach the concept of gay
    any more than he did.

    • Wonderful, Barbara. I agree with Henrietta on this one. It tells of emotions and attitudes that don’t come easy and have few explanations for others. Understanding can be difficult as best sometimes.

      Great work.

  38. Loved: “…as I was usually looking down or away…” and “…without as far as I knew his ever knowing he had been loved.”

    Also, I think that this is a wonderfully tender story about profound Friendship… ❤ !

  39. Really?

    It might have been the broad shoulders
    Maybe the Roman nose
    Or winning grin
    And taller than me
    Sat behind me in Spanish class
    Was so dreamy
    Felt a little chemistry
    Then Mono hit me–two weeks
    Tossed and turned in fever, sure
    That I’d lost my chance
    Instead, the day I returned
    He asked me to the Homecoming Dance
    In shock, I squeaked a “yes”
    And he answered, “Really?”
    As they say, the rest…
    Was typical high school romance
    Doomed before it’s through
    But for that single moment
    It was a dream come true

  40. We Are As One

    I wish I had the answers
    to the questions of the world.
    I’ve had a lot of time to think things thru.
    So many things sailing on wings
    while driven by the love I have for you.

    It’s never very easy
    to believe that happiness
    should ever wait for changes to take place.
    Full moon and sun. We are as one.
    Forever moving forward by the grace.

    By Michael Grove

  41. One smile just for me, and I knew.
    You were a student here on 6 month visa,
    It was the end of my junior year at university.
    In a few months you were gone, and we wrote.
    Two years later I gave up on you returning from Europe,
    So I married in desperation.
    Two weeks after my marriage you showed up to surpise me.
    You were most surprised to learn of my nuptials.
    Why, was all you could say. Why?
    You flew back to Germany and I raised a family.
    Sixteen years later I was divorced and tried to contact you.
    I could have waited two weeks, now I have waited 22 years.
    You stole my heart and never returned it.
    Why, is all I can say. Why?


    When I turned fourteen
    The Earth skidded on its axis
    Went into an uncontrollable spin
    For eleven years that followed

    When my world would end
    It would be resuscitated
    By a smile, a look, a hint of promise
    Trivial nothings – everything

    When the spinning stopped
    I thought that I finally died
    Instead I saw my life right next to me
    Waiting patiently to be lived

  43. Pingback: Symptoms: « Metaphors and Smiles

    • “One will know they’ve been bitten by the love bug when…”


      lit from within.
      burst of butterflies.
      with this newness.
      knowing no other…
      passion pooled
      full with the vision,
      brimming of beauty.
      measuring intensity.
      so fresh
      so super consuming.

      © Hannah Gosselin 9/14/12

  44. Tommy

    There are two old pictures of us.
    One shows us sitting on the glider,
    The other one points to our feet
    and our dogs sniffing each other,

    He visited his grandmother
    next door. I must have adored
    him, for I told everyone we
    would marry. Then he ran.

    I married Dean.

  45. Eddie

    He was so cute,
    brown hair, brown eyes
    and dimples when he smiled.
    We had fun hanging out together
    even though his name
    made me think of
    Eddie Munster.
    I liked that show,
    so I guess it was okay.
    He gave me a gift –
    a dinosaur.
    I still have it.
    We were five.

  46. Last Sight

    Computer lab blues
    hung around my neck
    as I tried to write
    a functioning computer program.

    Next to me
    wild, blond hair
    and laughing blue eyes
    watched me with chuckling interest.

    I asked
    or he offered –
    Either way he helped me
    iron out the details of my failing program.

    As he walked away from the lab
    I watched him through the window,
    thinking there goes Einstein in a blue jean jacket
    and the nicest ass I’ve ever seen.

    I married that man.

  47. Better late than never!

    i can entirely her only love

    I fell for you
    before time was time,
    as we tumbled through the summer grass
    and back yard sprinklers.

    I unlocked your smile
    on secret adventures
    into closets and blanket-covered

    I laughed
    as we trick-or-treated
    in kimonos and
    Wonder Woman Underoos.

    I fell for the
    wondering woman
    navigating the twists and turns
    of an emerging adulthood.

    I smiled unlocking
    the still-giddy girl
    hiding her secrets in the creases
    of adventure-seeking eyes.

    I laugh
    at the face I see
    in the fogged-up bathroom mirror,
    sweating in the summer heat.

  48. Pingback: At First Sight | echoes from the silence

  49. The First Time I Saw Her

    I’d seen her a couple times before
    All the way over
    On the other side of the club
    Waiting tables
    With her blond curly hair
    Bouncing as she served
    Tray after tray of drinks
    To the thirsty Airmen

    From a distance I would watch
    As I walked to the time clock
    To punch in for my shift
    In the formal lounge on
    The other side of the club

    Who was she?
    I had to find out
    But how?

    Then one evening
    Halfway through my shift
    She came around the corner
    And up to my station
    Placed her tray on the bar
    And said, in the sweetest voice
    “Strawberry daiquiri please”

    I was floored
    Flustered beyond belief

    And after twenty-four years
    Every time she enters the room
    It happens all over again

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