Day 1 Highlights

As promised, here are some highlighted poems from the Day 1 prompt, which was a “2 for Tuesday” treat where poets could either write about a first or beginning OR they could write an April Fool’s poem. The poems I’ve highlighted aren’t necessarily better than poems I didn’t highlight; they’re just some (of many) that spoke to me. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

(Also, these highlighted poems aren’t listed in any kind of ranking system. They’re in the same order as they appear in the Comments for the first day’s prompt.)

(Double also, if you especially enjoy any of these poems, why not do your good deed for the day and send an email or make a comment below to let them know? I’m sure you could totally make someone’s week by doing so.)

*****

MY FIRST BICYCLE

 

Had a removable boy’s bar,

Doubling as a girl’s bike.

Last night, at a Valentine’s

Party, I sat in a kissing

Booth kissing boys the way

I kiss girls when I know

Them well . . . when I was

Little I never considered

Removing the bar so I could

Jump higher, but every so

Often I wonder why I never did.

 

 

AARON FAGAN

Aaron Fagan |faganismAT NOSPAMgmail dot com

 

*****

 

my first marriage

 

 

was on a steep

hill in the third

grade: we were adjacent

to recess, asphalt

hopscotch and four-

square

 

i wore a crown

of weeds tethered

together with an 8-year

old’s precision

and striped culottes

that would be ridiculed

the following year

 

a small crowd surrounded

me and my sunny-shirted

groom in giggles; all

of us the kids and the colors

of a Peanuts comic strip

 

our makeshift minister

was a boy who once threw

up what looked like half

of a peach floating

in syrup which sat

under the morning

bell in sawdust

until a reluctant custodian

removed it from sight

a day later

 

down the aisle

i was a nervous

child bride; stepping

cautiously remembering

that once a girl with blonde

pigtails and a perfect Charlie

Brown-round head

did a somersault there

and landed in dog shit

 

after our dramatization

of what we thought

was committment, the kiss

landed on my lips

then we held hands

for a few minutes

 

we were divorced

by the time the bus

took us home; no honey-

moon on the jungle gym

or imaginary cruise–

just a tearful me

when i saw him

with a girl taller

than me the next day

 

 

k weber |ilovehateyouAT NOSPAMhotmail dot com

 

*****

 

Firsts

 

Furtively, I took my father’s double-edged

blade and crept to the bathtub,

sure, for some reason, I’d be told

I was still too young

to look like the other girls,

so sleek, so acceptable.

 

I touched it to my ankle

and immediately, blood

spurt out on white porcelain,

a chunk of skin and some flesh

detached and lying on the drain.

 

Now I’d have to get help and confess:

I tried to shave my legs.

 

 

Robin Morris

Robin Morris |momewraths2002AT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

 

*****

 

First Rites

 

At seventeen, we were far enough

from home to keep secrets.

We fumbled the poles into their snaps and loops,

arcing, stretching the tent like a drum

between. I wanted to be a man

so I gathered sticks and fallen

branches, cussed and cussed and cussed till the matches

took.

 

With the cottonwoods and the light

failing fast it became difficult

to talk. I laughed too loud. Fussed

too much with the little flame. We both

pretended to love the taste

of Winstons. I waited for you

to say you were cold. You waited for me

to ask.

 

We might have looked

more narrowly into the fire,

seven wood spokes

gone coal, nightbirds

somewhere softly arguing

I will I will I will

swear to God

I will.

 

 

Scott Coykendall |scoykenAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

 

*****

 

First Day of Summer

 

We throw the bag

into the back of the van

and head out, laughing.

The radio shares

our excitement

as we sing along,

off key and very loud.

Greeted by

shimmering water,

shovels, pails,

and laughing children.

Sand between our toes,

warm and scratchy.

Sun on our necks,

hot and dry.

We drop everything

and jump into the water.

Refreshed.

 

 

Lori |brightiiizAT NOSPAMaol dot com

 

*****

 

First rodeo

 

Head full of tequila

New cowboy boots full of sore feet,

I stumbled and fell

on the railroad tracks

before I even had the chance

to get thrown from a horse.

 

Somewhere John Wayne

shakes his head and walks away

into the sunset

 

 

Mike Barzacchini |mjbarzAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

 

*****

 

Thaw

 

How excited everything is to live

after so many long, cold months.

 

Even the crocuses begin the surface ascent,

the stems finding their pitch against a stiff April wind

 

while the birds sing their deliberate song for no one,

not even the world with all of its exaggerated beauty.

 

They are as much the notes not sung

as the ones that are. Let them praise only themselves,

 

and if the crocuses take credit, so be it.

Let them grip the wet dirt in their silent blooming.

 

 

January |jgill27494AT NOSPAMaol dot com

 

*****

 

First Catch

 

I watched him as he paused,

hoped as he considered,

waited until he decided.

He picked up the ball

and ran back to me.

 

He dropped it at my feet,

slightly soggy.

I felt wonderfully complete!

Then…

he snatched it back.

As he ran away with it,

I swear I could hear him laugh.

 

 

Tonica |tonihall2003AT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

 

*****

 

First Love

 

Not the buxom blond

from high school or

the yellow convertible with

red leather upholstery and

not the teacher who paid

attention to me after my

years of being ignored but

that love that never ends,

that gives without expecting

anything in return,

that wonder of

all passions,

CHOCOLATE.

 

 

Alfred J Bruey |ajbrueyAT NOSPAMaol dot com

 

*****

 

First Kiss

 

Your name was Roger

Tall boy, quiet boy

Third grade girl & boy–

Why you? We planned it

like a surgical procedure.

We hid in the ravine

so no one would see.

No one could see

nose bumping on nose

glasses clinking glasses

the first time.

So we had to try again.

 

This time you tilted

your head and the kiss

planted just right.

The Arctic breeze

couldn’t reach down

there, deep by the

frozen creek.

 

We walked back up

the hill to report

our findings.

 

 

Elizabeth |lilyclarissaAT NOSPAMhotmail dot com

 

*****

 

First Day of College

 

Dad and Mom are in the front seat

I am wedged in the back between

boxes and bags filled with towels

comforters, pillows, a hot pot,

a study lamp, and clothes that

I don’t want to wear anymore

 

Pittsburgh is a thousand miles away

as we cross the Verrazano in our borrowed car

on our way to Greenwhich Village and my dorm

 

The sky is as bright as the idea I had

to have a different kind of life

“what was I thinking?” harmonizes with

“if I can make it here I’ll make it anywhere”

in my brain as I feel the air thicken

and the pace quicken

 

Dad catches my eye in the rearview mirror

as the New York skyline dares me to enter

will I be swallowed whole or embraced

there is no way to know

 

“is this a big enough campus for you?”

he asks

 

I smile weakly

wanting despeartely to be the girl

who I was when this was just a dream

and not the one who is carsick and scared

 

“Just remember,” Dad says, “always act like you know

where you are going and no one will stop you.”

 

No one ever did.

 

 

Teri Coyne |tmc329AT NOSPAMaol dot com

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Day 1 Highlights

  1. Gratia Karmes

    No Connection… 4/18/08

    Here is a secret…I am in love
    with my own poems.

    Today I am rushing
    ..miles to travel before I dance…
    Me and Robert Frost, we’re so alike
    you know

    And I am really hoping
    there is no connection
    between the time spent on a poem
    and its quality.

  2. Linda

    Thank you for selecting these! It’s like the synopsis of singers at the end of American Idol. The First Day of College so resonates with me, brought back identical feelings. First Kiss is touching with it’s humor and sweetness. And First Marriage is just super all around. First Rites very poignant.

    I LOVE APRIL!!!!! Peace, Linda

  3. Michelle H.

    They are all wonderful poems!! I really enjoyed "First Day of Summer", it made me smile and feel warm!! Thanks Lori! Also "The First Day of College" was very sweet. I could really picture it in my mind. Thanks for sharing Teri!

  4. anne

    I love "My First Marriage" (k weber) and "Firsts" ( robin morris) My kids did a "frog" wedding, getting all dressed up in bridal party clothes. The frog was so mauled by the end of the ceremony, that they followed it with a funeral, immediately after! I wish I had thought of that! As for the leg shaving…it really took me back to the days of sneaking my dad’s razor and then having to patch up the damage with pieces of kleenex! Thanks for the memories!
    anne

  5. k weber

    these poems are so great. i am really digging this challenge immensely. i really loved the flow, word choice, and careful use of line breaks in scott’s "first rites" poem. thanks to all who have commented on "my first marriage"; one of my favorites of the pieces i have written this week!

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