Retrospective Crush - Poem by Hannah Everette
Another man took me out tonight, but his hair was dark.
We made painful small talk in a hotel bar
Before I cut the evening short with an excuse.
You would have laughed, I’m sure.
I can picture you still as you were:
Short, blond, crouching on top a rusting see-saw
Reciting Edgar Allan Poe.
When I hear The Bells I think of you.
You introduced me to O. Henry and Twain.
I took them to bed and they’re still there—
But you have never joined us.
Do you think of me when you read them? When you sleep?
Sometimes, I imagine we pass carts in the supermarket,
Though I wouldn’t know you today—
Last I saw you we were thirteen—
Yet I imagine that you recognize me somehow.
Do you say nothing then because you’re shy,
And your tongue is tied by the adult me
That reminds you of the younger you:
The shy boy who conversed with poetry, not people?
For years I never thought of you,
For years I couldn’t remember your name—
Now I can’t get it out of my head
Not that I seem to want to.
Am I the only crazy woman in the world
Who has picked apart her childhood
For a hint that a boy might be thinking of her as a man?
Sometimes I wonder.
Perhaps I am just grateful now for what you gave me then,
Or perhaps a part of me wants to go back to being thirteen
And thinks you can take me there,
Like a girl believes she can kiss a frog and catch a prince.
Ridiculous! I am a 21st Century woman of sophistication!
I don’t need a frog, or a kiss, or a man!
But then I stand, saner and happier than ever,
In front of a class of impatient preteens,
Reciting Edgar Allan Poe—
And when the bells ring, I still think of you.
Is it possible I was in love and never knew?
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Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You