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Paul Hansford


The First Time


I was only seventeen, and you were about the same,
and I knew nothing about you – I barely knew your name.
But I looked at you, and you looked at me, and we looked at each other, and then…
I knew, the first time you smiled at me, I wanted to see you again.

So I went where I knew I could find you, and asked you to go on a date,
and you looked quite shy, but you said you would, and I knew it must be fate.
And I looked at you, and you looked at me, and we looked at each other, and then…
I knew, the first time I held your hand, I wanted to hold you again.

We were crossing the river. The sky was grey, but the sun came bursting through,
and lit up your hair like a coppery flame, and I couldn’t stop looking at you.
Yes, I looked at you, and you looked at me, and we looked at each other, and then…
I knew, the first time I stroked your hair, I wanted to touch you again.

Then we walked in the park and we sat on a bench, and (I still see it all so clear)
my arm was round your shoulder, and your face was oh, so near.
And I looked at you, and you looked at me, and we looked at each other, and then…
I knew, the first time I kissed you, I wanted to kiss you again.

You were everything I wanted – well, that’s the way it seemed –
everything I wanted and all that I’d ever dreamed.
For we met again, and I held you again, and we kissed again and again,
and I’d never known a feeling like the happiness I felt then.

But life doesn’t stay that perfect, and dreams don‘t always come true,
and there came the day that you told me you had found somebody new.
And I looked at you, and you looked at me, and we looked at each other, and then…
I knew, the one time you broke my heart, I could never be happy again.

But, though young hearts are easily broken, it’s surprising how soon they can mend.
So after you there were other girls, and now I have more than a friend.
But I still think of you with affection (even if it is just now and then)
for the one you remember as first love is never forgotten again.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Edited: Wednesday, April 29, 2009

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  • Rookie Karin Anderson (sorry can't vote or comment) . (7/8/2009 1:25:00 AM)

    Good flow and rhyme and the repetition of 'and I looked at you etc. works well. The change from see to hold, touch etc. helps the story evolve. This is what I would call an old fashioned love poem.
    Maybe it could be used as lyrics in a song., Karin Anderson (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Ana Zaldivar (5/31/2009 12:45:00 AM)

    This is such a story... as my age.. I feel very connected too.. young loves they come and go.. I learned it the bad way.. it is very nice.. I really enjoyed reading.. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 65 Points Sathyanarayana M V S (4/18/2009 9:44:00 AM)

    Paul,
    I subscribe to the view 'economy of words......'. But sometimes while dealing with certain subjects, like love, broken heart or any other narration of a story, I agree, the portrayal has to be slow and vivid. I feel that is the case with this poem. But I read everyday dozens of poems, most of them on love, nature and beauty. Hackneyed subject I feel. Same feelings, same expressions, same situations when love bloomed and when love broke. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Gabriella Franco (12/4/2008 2:27:00 AM)

    Though in your message I'd thought you were belittling my '17-year-old love, ' I was wrong. this is a great depiction of how in love us youngins can get and how much we feel for the first time, and how life goes on. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 14 Points Bonnie Collins (7/10/2008 9:31:00 PM)

    For the life of me, I can not figure why first loves are always tucked in a corner of our hearts.... Life can have its ups and downs, happiness can fall again, but nothing is as sweet as the first love in ones life..... This is very fullfillng and hits a tender spot within my soul.....

    Bonnie (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Bridgid Patrick (5/8/2008 8:28:00 AM)

    Great imagery in this poem, I like.
    You never forget your first love. Unfortunately in my case: ( Please see my poem careless whisper :) .x (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Katherine Sessor (5/1/2008 4:41:00 PM)

    So Beautiful! ! your words flow beautiful and shows great imagery! This is a great poem and i love it. =) (Report) Reply

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