Thursday, October 6, 2016

October 6

All month we're writing poetic letters!


  1. Jeanne: Letter to first love

    With the last St Mary’s bell
    I’d hop on my red bike
    Cross the Burlington Northern tracks
    Meander the Olmstead streets
    The play ground.

    Carey would be there
    Park our butts into plastic seats
    Pump our feet
    Swing back and forth
    Chat and giggle
    I decided we were best friends.

    But I hoped that
    I’d catch a glimpse of you
    Playing ball with your friends
    Paul Atella
    So cute.

    Dimple smile and sweet eyes.
    Quiet friendly manner
    My sisters tried to tease
    But I decided we were best friends.
    Even when you moved away.

    Eight years later
    The door bell rang
    Short guy on the stoop
    Survive awkward exchange
    Teens moved on
    Nod to the past.

  2. Dear someone,
    I don’t know. I don’t know.
    Rusty wanted to marry me in Kindergarten
    I dreamed about Holland in fourth grade
    but he had no dreams about me
    and barely noticed my reality.
    Surely that’s not love.

    Gene was a prom date,
    but a blind date nevertheless,
    with his artless criticism
    of the fake colonial architecture
    of my house and its neighborhood
    and his pretend sophistication, no.

    I guess it’s Dear Newell,
    one of the few boys who
    cared about me about the same as I
    cared about him, we both said love
    at the time, beautiful Boone,
    blue mountains on all sides
    mountain laurel and honeysuckle
    and “What’d I Say,” side 1 and side 2.

    I felt swept away that summer,
    far from home as you were,
    together far too much
    although they said we were so
    “carefully chaperoned at all times”
    learning and eating and dancing
    hiking and talking with friends.
    A lock of hair came in the mail
    from a Jennifer back home
    and you were so embarrassed but
    did you always plan to return
    to Jennifer at summer’s end?

    I’d thank you for the joy of being selected
    included, wanted, even if only for months,
    but now the joy is tainted with
    too much speculation about what
    you planned for our union
    from the very start—that it end
    fast, broken clean and sharp,
    the top of a coke bottle that fell down
    the Cliffside from Blowing Rock
    and we laughed to see it lying
    fragmented when we came
    to the base.

    Cruel love,