First Love

First Love

We were together three years, you and I.
The sketch you drew of The Beatles
for my bedroom wall was so good,
far too good to be torn
into a thousand pieces.

I let them flutter from the bedroom
window among the snow, hoping
they would melt with the thaw
but they were still there and
I had to sweep them away.

And I hoped that if I unravelled
every stitch from the jumper I knit you,
hurtful memories would uravel too,
but they just lay there in a shrivelled
heap, much more bitter than sweet.

Your mother sent me a kind letter
saying how much she liked me
with a well-meaning
consolation prize,
nylon stockings,
American tan with seams.
I never wore them;
I preferred tights.

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61 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ina
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 11:56:28

    Hi Christine,
    what a great poem! This is moving and still that sense of humour is there too, I absolutely adore this poem. The loss af a (first) love, it is such a pain, and you describe so well, the tearing apart of the scetch and the jumper… And then the last lines 🙂 Good for you girl! 🙂

    I think this is the best poem I have read in a long time.
    {{{ Christine }}}
    love xx

    Reply

  2. Ina
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 11:56:59

    sketch not scetch 🙂

    Reply

  3. sandy
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 12:01:21

    Loved it, Christine! You know, most of us can relate to your words, and it feels good to read how creatively you put those feelings. Wonderful!

    Reply

  4. journeyintopoetry
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 12:08:52

    Thank you Sandy for this lovely comment. It is greatly appreciated.

    Christine

    Reply

  5. AngelaMarie
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 12:26:31

    Christine, you are a masterful poetess!!! The emotional energy of this poem is as alive as the imagery– so well matched and full of bittersweet, retrospectively humorous insights! I think that may be one of the things I most enjoy about your writing: the authenticity of feeling and experience that emerges through it. Right down to the end of this poem – with the absurdity of the well-meaning consolation prize – it simply singes with the pain of first love loss. It’s so appropriate. Thanks for this smile to my day! Blessings on yours!! Hugs, Angela

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Apr 12, 2012 @ 13:30:13

      Angela, this is a really lovely comment and is so very much appreciated.

      “Singes with the pain of first love loss” – There is a poem in this line!:)

      Much love to you

      Christine xx

      Reply

  6. Poetry & Icecream
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 12:38:36

    Ah the loss of a first love expressed so well here. I love the torn scetch thrown in the snow and the consolation prize which you never wore. Masterfully written Christine 🙂

    Reply

  7. dfb
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 14:03:19

    This is fabulous Christine, I love it. Unravelling the jumper, that really hits home!

    Reply

  8. deelaytful
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 14:51:35

    Great unpacking of the feeling of loss. I love it.

    Reply

  9. susanjanejones
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 16:26:55

    So painful, and memorable.

    Reply

  10. Caddo Veil
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 17:46:14

    Oh WOW, Christine–this one’s so good it pinches and stings my heart. Well done!! God bless you today.

    Reply

  11. granbee
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 18:59:46

    No memories are ever so special as those of that first love–I really like the way you tried to make snowflakes from the torn-up Beatles drawing. Very nicely done, Christine!

    Reply

  12. samatwitch
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 00:38:49

    Well done, Christine. The imagery evokes the emotions so well.

    Reply

  13. Betty Hayes Albright
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 01:31:43

    Christine, your poetry just keeps getting better and better!! This deserves a “Wow!!” (Oh, I see Caddo already gave you one, but there’s another. 🙂 )

    Reply

  14. leamuse
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 07:10:05

    Well done! It is so visceral. I felt like the fly on the wall…
    Léa

    Reply

  15. gonecycling
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 14:51:42

    This is wonderful, Christine – I love the image of ‘unravelling every stitch of the jumper I knit you’; it made me think of the line in Macbeth where Shakespeare talks about ‘sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care’. You’ve captured so many of first love’s turbulent and conflicting emotions with this piece; it’s poignant, bleak, intimate and charged. But your trademark flash of wit leaves us with a smile – albeit a slightly sad one. What greater pleasure could there be? N.xx

    Reply

  16. Emma
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 18:10:28

    Ah Christine, this takes me back. I had a young man who drew me the most wonderful pictures that I destroyed when we had a falling out. I always regretted that once I got over the anger. You’ve captured the moment so well here, with such carefully chosen details…I love the ‘American tans’.

    Reply

  17. Thomas Milner
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 20:48:04

    lovely poem, Christine! We all remember the pain of 1st love but we can’t always verbalise so succinctly … I love the throwaway last line.
    Tom

    Reply

  18. triciabertram
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 21:22:24

    I like this one, particularly the last verse with the detailed description of the stockings and then the unexpected “I never wore them / I preferred tights”.
    Hugs
    Tricia

    Reply

  19. belfastdavid
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 11:19:11

    You demonstrate in this poem Christine your increasing confidence in yourself as a poet.

    It is terrific. Well done.

    I shall restrain myself however from commenting on the length of time you hang on to resentments!!!!! 🙂

    Much Love

    David

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Apr 16, 2012 @ 15:40:58

      Thank you very much David!

      LOL!! As I said to you, “progress rather than perfection”?? – Ok, I know it’s a lame one!
      Maybe the writing of this poem will put it to rest – or maybe not! LOL:):)

      Lots of love

      Christine

      xxx

      Reply

  20. Linda Willows
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 20:49:03

    Oh Christine, this was a beautiful poem. It touched my heart and many more I am certain, Love to you, Linda

    Reply

  21. Jane Thorne
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 09:58:08

    Christine you capture the feeling as our first love is lost so beautifully, yet with humour and pathos too..I loved this. If only we could unravel and sort our hurt feelings so easily as unpicking a jumper…..clever you – much love 😀 x

    Reply

  22. journeyintopoetry
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 15:42:48

    Thank you Jane for your lovely encouraging comment. I really appreciate it:)

    Love and hugs to you

    Christine xx

    Reply

  23. bardessdmdenton
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 16:59:06

    I love this reminiscence…and the last line is a perfect way to express a realization that this love wasn’t really such a good fit after all. (Though that doesn’t mean there isn’t a little wondering still…)

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Apr 16, 2012 @ 17:08:10

      Thank you very much Diane.

      Strangely enough he actually got in touch with me (through Friends Reunited) 18 months ago to apologise!! And he is so so so not my type! LOL 🙂

      Much love

      Christine x

      Reply

  24. Dennis N. O'Brien
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 12:21:56

    Well written Christine. I think your story with a few variations would be familiar to many of us – I know it is to me.

    Reply

  25. Fergiemoto
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 18:02:56

    Oh, wow! I can feel the ouch and knotted stomach from this poem. The feelings conveyed so well here! Outstanding!

    Reply

  26. hollyannegetspoetic
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 14:59:20

    How did I miss this one?!

    I think it’s all been said by the other commenters, but I had to add my own. Yes, I had one of these – ahhhh, first love… *sigh, leans back in chair while the world goes fuzzy, melts back to images of youthful Holly walking the Malvern hills with cute young boy…*
    Though his mother never bought me hosiery!

    It’s the small details that make your poems for me Christine – they ground your words into a reality that so many of us relate to. Wonderful. x

    Reply

  27. Francina
    Apr 21, 2012 @ 11:44:14

    Great poem, Christine, and I love these lines. Quite remarkable ones.

    And I hoped that if I unravelled
    every stitch from the jumper I knit you,
    hurtful memories would unravel too,

    Our First love we seem to remember for always…

    love and hugs, Francina xxx

    Reply

  28. Thomas Davis
    Apr 22, 2012 @ 20:50:35

    I agree with several of the comments here and cannot add much except to say that David got it right, you are growing as poet. Your language is strengthening, there is more of the sense that you are working at squeezing out words that do not belong so that the language left glitters like diamonds, and the idea behind the poem is classic: Leaving a Beatles drawing too good to throw away out in the snow, hoping it will disappear into winter. Good work, Christine.

    Reply

  29. journeyintopoetry
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 12:05:14

    Thank you so much Thomas.

    Your beautiful comment is poetry in itself, “the language left glitters like diamonds” – I will keep those words with me all the time now.

    You know how much I welcome and appreciate your feedback and I feel quite humbled to receive this comment from someone whose work I admire so much.

    Christine

    Reply

  30. tikarmavodicka
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 15:33:38

    Hi Christine,

    This is a truly fabulous poem! I’ve enjoyed it greatly on many levels. At first just soaking up your vivid imagery and story. For me the jumper stands out the most. I can very much see that poor jumper in it’s tangled unravelled state. I suppose on a certain level I relate to having done similar in anger and at the end only feeling the worse for it because it doesn’t change the circumstance at all.
    Love can be so scarring and I suppose that’s the second level. Those events in life that do scar and leave us permanently changed and no matter what we do it only re-enforces that change.
    The last level was my own memory of love gone sour. My ex didn’t return for the engagement ring after a terrible break-up so I ummm..broke it and made sure it could never be worn again…*cheesy grin* …. it was a nice ring too! *LOL*
    I very much like your humourous wit at the end of this poem. I think sometimes that’s the only healing balm we can have, to have the last laugh in whatever way we can. 🙂
    Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful piece. You really have excelled yourself with this poem!

    With much love and
    (((BIG WARM HUGS)))
    Tikarma
    xoxoxo

    Reply

  31. literallylaurie
    Jun 18, 2012 @ 18:48:58

    I loved this poem…..with me it was a leather inscribed bracelet and a mix tape….but the memories feel the same.

    Reply

  32. suzywordmuser
    Nov 18, 2012 @ 16:31:55

    Well, I think this is a stunning poem, not sure I can explain why. Something about the emotion in it comes across as very real, with no syrup at all! Beautiful! 🙂

    Reply

  33. journeyintopoetryJourneyintopoetry
    Nov 24, 2012 @ 16:49:50

    Thank you very much for your comment!

    Maybe its because after 40 years he got in touch with me to say sorry! Too late! Surprise, surprise I have moved on!

    It did, however, bring back the pain of the situation as though it were yesterday 🙂

    Christine

    Reply

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