My First Love Letter Poem by Madathil Rajendran Nair

My First Love Letter

Rating: 4.8


It was when I was just in class three
Hovering around the tenth year of age
Something bothered me in the hours wee
A sweetness, an aroma, sweat
Or was it the morning dew on grass
That kept me awake
Rolling on my smelly bed
With a sweetness that blazed my glands

I don’t know, I can’t tell
But there was she
My classmate
With jasmine teeth
A dance perched on her feet
Bothering my budding masculinity

I knew I wanted her
I couldn’t make out what for
In a frenzy that engulfed me
Like a forest fire then I wrote
On the inside of a discarded cigarette pack
Slit open like a bleeding heart
What I felt, the first love letter
In words that moved like ants
All over me and my heart

I handed it to her brother
Two years younger
In secret, behind the school toilet yonder
Hoping it would reach and vanquish her

But, there was the maths teacher
Fondling his scorpion tail moustache
Watching the goings-on
Who intercepted the missive
From the hands of the shivering brother

I thought I was in for hell
Punishment, beatings, no one can tell
But nothing happened to my surprise
Till at last I noticed
The school headmistress at my fence
In a rare bosom chat with my mom, her friend

I was playing behind my house
Rolling stones in the setting sun
Like a forlorn Ulysses adorned in sweat
Yet I knew I was their subject

Days passed and Diwali came
The Indian festival of lights
It was time for the early morning bath
Under the glistening stars
My mom poured warm water over me from a tub
And I misbehaved in a gleeful jump
She cautioned and slapped me on my thigh
With a fire unknown in her eyes
“Idiot, have you begun
Writing love letters at this age? ”

That was the first and last time
She ever beat me
A lovely mother was she
And, often I wonder what happened
To that passionate missive of mine

Perhaps, it was blown over by the winds
Over fences and thorns and profusely bled
And withered in the sun and rain
Decayed down the channels of time

And I met her of late one of these days
At a temple festival when I braved
To tell her about my missive missed
That perhaps could have changed our fate

She laughed out in a guffaw
An aging grandma of three
And I could see at sixty-eight
Her jasmines were still intact
What more could a lover want
When he has only a toothless smile
In exchange, Oh, why do we age?

POET'S NOTES ABOUT THE POEM
Written just now 21: 21 hrs IST 2nd March 2015, this relates to a real life incident.
COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Pgr Nair 11 March 2016

Loved it as it stuck a chord in me. You have passionately chronicled a sweet and innocent era with charm and sensitivity. Incidentally, I experienced a similar set back at the age of 11 when I wrote a love letter to a charming girl in my class. The girl after reading my letter had no qualms as to what to do and it safely landed in the hands of my mother who was teacher in the school. That night I experienced the first pain of love. :)

1 0 Reply

Thank you, Sir.

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Akhtar Jawad 08 September 2016

Incidentally I also did it but I did it in the college, I wrote a love letter but could not gather courage to handover it to her. It remained in my pocket and it was seen by my elder sister who punished me. I have also written a poem, An Innocent Love Affair. Could you read it.

1 0 Reply
Madathil Rajendran Nair 08 September 2016

Thanks. You have commented on my poem twice now. A double honour conferred by a senior poet. And thanks for inviting me to read your beautiful poem, which I did. I have written my comments and rated it too. Long live Suraiyawallas!

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Bri Edwards 25 September 2016

favorite lines so far: On the inside of a discarded cigarette pack Slit open like a bleeding heart and, so quickly followed by: In words that moved like ants All over me and my heart - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Hoping it would reach and vanquish her......? do you REALLY want vanquish***** here? ? you may have wanted to conquer her, but not in this sense, i don't think! did you? *****van·quish ˈvaNGkwiSH/ verb verb: vanquish; 3rd person present: vanquishes; past tense: vanquished; past participle: vanquished; gerund or present participle: vanquishing defeat thoroughly. Mexican forces vanquished the French army in a battle in Puebla synonyms: conquer, defeat, beat, trounce, rout, triumph over, be victorious over, get the better of, worst, upset; overcome, overwhelm, overpower, overthrow, subdue, subjugate, quell, quash, crush, bring someone to their knees, tear someone apart; informallick, hammer, clobber, thrash, smash, demolish, wipe the floor with, make mincemeat of, massacre, slaughter, annihilate, cream, skunk, shellac I promise you, we shall vanquish our enemy and reclaim what is rightfully ours ===================================== Till at last I noticed The school headmistress at my fence In a rare bosom chat with my mom, her friend...........this gave me a bit of a laugh; a mild one, but one nonetheless. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - another laugh here: “Idiot, have you begun Writing love letters at this age? ” ......................and when, i wonder, did a girl/woman return a letter to you? more fine lines: Perhaps, it was blown over by the winds Over fences and thorns and profusely bled.............this is getting (almost) tiring! all these wonderful lines! TRUE stuff? is it? ? your Poet's Notes says so. about YOU? How nice to share with us. Wow. definitely to MyPoemList. i must share at least with Valsa G............oh, i now see a comment by her. :) bri :) i don't care much for love poems usually, but this is very special. maybe more a coming-of-age poem, involving 'love'. maybe puppy love we would have called it, if that. i hope you did not pine for too long for the girl of your youth.

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S.zaynab Kamoonpuri 22 January 2021

Wow fantastic story well told with scintillating wit and humour indeed!

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Bri Edwards 17 January 2021

p.s. The subject, Barbara, of my 2nd grade 'crush' i last spoke to a few years ago via email, after not seeing or hearing from her in over forty years. bri ;)

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Bri Edwards 17 January 2021

Ok, MN, i finished reading and LOVE IT! ! ! ! Thanks for Poet's Notes as well. I sent the poem with your name and 'topics/now; 'hashtages' ' to My Qoutes for storage for now. If i make another showcase, i hope i remember where i put it. : ) bri

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Bri Edwards 17 January 2021

stanza 4: i think 'vanquish' is too strong and/or misleading here. I like 'scorpion tail moustache' I'd send this poem to MyPoemList if i HAD ONE like i did on the old version of PH. : (

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Bri Edwards 17 January 2021

Truth be told, i had a 'crush' on a girl in 2nd grade, around age 7. I didn't tell her about it till about 10 years later, and we had a couple of 'dates' over the next few years. I sort of wrote her a love letter.

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