Recalling Your First Love

Ah, young love. How many poets have spent time riffing on this, the most common and most unique of all of life's experiences? Everyone falls in love, and the first time it happens to you sets the stage for everything that follows, doesn't it?

But the thing about first loves that poets, writers and songbirds neglect to mention is that they are the first but not the last. First loves are always superseded by subsequent arrivals, by definition, and the vast majority of them are relegated to the past, only to be dusted off and examined on those occasions we decide to rummage about in the attic of our memories. First loves are history, our personal history, sure, but history nonetheless.

Let's face it, they are all unique, and at the same time, they are all exactly the same.


I encourage you to be a child once more
to run and play with abandon,
disregard the date, and the time,
waiting for street lights to signal you home.
Laugh as hard as you can, simply because you can,
throw pebbles into the pond
not as weapons, but as keys to open the water.

When you think of grief,
you think of seedlings that refuse to open,
and songs that change the shape of their sound
before they come to the end.
Grief is little more than fog
as thick as blizzard-snow
laying down upon the surface of your soul.
But even fog has weight,
and it dampens all it touches.

You recall how she smelled of rain,
and summer breezes carrying laughter.
You know that when she cried,
the sound rose and stirred within you,
until it became the rasp of expensive pearls
dragged across mahogany, click-sliding into your mind.

Mostly, you miss the long walks together,
when the sun would burn off the day’s red walls,
her smile breaking into yours
with the fizz of soda pop
and the sweetness of a first kiss.

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