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First Love
by
Jeanie Greensfelder


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My first boyfriend was my second choice:
Beth got Gerry Jenson so I got Billy James
whose jaw hung, his tongue showing.
 
I looked down on Billy: girls were taller
in seventh grade. I wore his ID bracelet
and a motorcycle cap with his initials.
 
When we hugged, he smelled like Ivory soap,
his cheek smooth and soft—a Norman Rockwell boy.
Walking me home from school he carried my books,
 
and looked forward to a kiss at my door.
I knew he was trustworthy and true,
reliably mine, but Billy didn’t know me:
  
I’d met a tall guy who drove a Ford.
His cheeks were sandpaper rough
and he French kissed.
 
And on this day on my front porch,
when Billy handed me my books,
I handed him his ID bracelet
 
and watched his face redden, his eyes tear,
hurt bursting his seams. We both cried
soap-opera style, and Billy ran home.
 
In my room, I draped myself over my bed,
like an actress far away from home,
pained and in love with drama.
 

© by Jeanie Greensfelder.
Used with the author’s permission.

 

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

 
Jeanie Greensfelder grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. A psychologist, she seeks to understand herself and others on this shared journey, filled, as Joseph Campbell said, with sorrowful joys and joyful sorrows. Living on the central coast of California with her husband Andy, Jeanie volunteers as a bereavement counselor at Hospice of San Luis Obispo County. Her poems have been published in Riptide, Echoes, Porter Gulch Review, and others and can be seen monthly at http://slocoastjournal.com/docs/geniespocket.html.
 

 


New comments are closed for now.
jelsdon:
Jeanie brings clear vision, wisdom, and to-the-core imagery that mesmerizes. She's one of my favorite poets. Jane Elsdon
Posted 02/14/2014 02:03 PM
Mary Lou Taylor:
Inspires me to write my own first break-up. Never to be forgotten. Poor Billy.
Posted 02/04/2014 05:21 PM
KevinArnold:
Like Sherry, all I can say is yes, well done.
Posted 02/04/2014 10:47 AM
Ross Kightly:
How perfect is that image: 'hurt bursting his seams'! And if the perspective is true, it is also a fact that distance in time doesn't necessarily lessen the memory of pain. This has taken me perhaps a little too far back into...
Posted 02/04/2014 09:39 AM
Sherry:
yes, well done.
Posted 02/04/2014 08:30 AM
mjorlock:
The attention to detail is what makes this poem special. I especially love the histrionics of the breakup, filtered through the unsparing eye of age.
Posted 02/04/2014 08:27 AM
rtaylor947@aol.com:
A blast from the past we can all relate to. Well done!
Posted 02/04/2014 08:00 AM
mimi:
o that first love--intense beyond belief! good poem...
Posted 02/04/2014 07:15 AM


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