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Contributor Series 5: Dramatis Personae, First Impressions

06.05.10 Posted in Contributor Series 5, today's words by

Contributor Series 5: Dramatis Personae
First Impressions
By Grace Burns

They met at a party
at the start of their senior year in college.
He thought she was a geek.
She, in turn, labeled him a snob.
They kept their distance from each other,
as their invisible shields.
He secretly snickered at her black outfits and
neon yellow Converse high top sneakers.
She secretly snickered at his apparent bad taste
in clothing and women.

They stumbled into each other
at a dance at the start of second semester.
Their inhibitions had been washed away
by a steady stream of beer and cocktails.
They danced and talked, joked and belly laughed,
allowing the rising tide of this new attraction
swirl around them and 
carry them off to God-knows-where.
He drove her home and 
squeezed her arm good night.
I want you to be part of my life.
She felt the gentle pressure of his warm hand.
I want you to be part of mine.

Fast forward twenty years–
They have built a busy life together
since the day they looked
beyond their first impressions.
Drinking and dancing have been replaced
with career-building and bill-paying.
They are lovers who have matured
into heads of a bustling household.
The attention they had generously given
to each other is now diverted
to their children, interests and obligations.
And still, sitting together in their minivan,
he’ll squeeze her arm
as their kids chirp like busy chickens,
en route to God-knows-where.
I want you to be part of my life.
She’ll feel the gentle pressure of his warm hand.
I want you to be part of mine.

Grace Burns’ poem The Exercise Class appeared at vox poetica in 2010.

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