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The Long and Short of It

I've been experimenting with writing longer poems lately. While I still enjoy writing a poem using the Magnetic Poetry Tiles, those poems take a long time to create even though they are rather short. One of the groups I belong to regularly features a writing portion of our meetings where we are given a few writing prompts to choose from then 15 minutes to write. Afterward, since we are on Zoom, the facilitator places us in random groups of 3 or 4 people and we read our writing to each other. I love hearing what the other group members write especially when we use the same prompt. These particular writing sessions leave me writing prose, but most of what lands on the page wears a poetic cloak so to speak. The prompt "I remember..." resulted in the following new poem.


I Remember

 

 I remember like it was yesterday.

The first time I saw you

I was walking down Market Street

And you were walking into the bank

Dressed in a suit and a top coat.

You said Hi to me and I replied,

Good morning!

It was afternoon.

I remember how embarrassed I felt afterwards

Hoping you didn’t catch my mistake.

 

I remember the first time we had a real conversation.

It was at the coffee house.

A local musician was strumming his guitar

And singing something I can’t remember, but

All I can remember is your black track pants

With white stripes down the sides.

You had just come from the gym.

I remember that we knew some of the same people

Or their siblings because

We went to the same high school, but

You were six years older than me.

 

I remember being curious about you.

You had your own business in town.

You also liked espresso, Italian food and traveling.

And music.

You liked Jazz, Latin and Big Band.

I remember that you were a drummer and a percussionist.

I was always attracted to musicians.

I remember not admitting to myself that I was attracted to you.

But like a stalker, I drove to your house one Tuesday night and

Discovered you lived in the nicest house on the street.

I remember not telling anyone I drove to your house,

Not even my best friend.

 

I remember one afternoon in March 2013.

I was at a funeral home with my mother when I got your message

Inviting me to a group dinner at Lidia’s.

I remember being excited to go out with the group, but

On that night, March 22nd, the other 4 people bailed

Divinely orchestrating our first date.

I remember saying in the car how nice we both looked.

I wore a new dress from Macy’s and

A Donna Karan raincoat I got for Easter that Spring.

 

I remember meeting Lidia Bastianich at the restaurant and

You even took our photo!

I remember that our table wasn’t ready and

You asked me if I’d like to try some grappa.

I remember it burned as it slid down my throat,

Italian moonshine, you remarked.

I remember excusing myself during dinner and

Texting my best friend

That I was on the best grown-up date of my life

And I hope it never ends.


True story, by the way.




March 2013/Photo of me with chef Lidia Bastianich taken at her restaurant which is sadly no longer in Pittsburgh. I had her autograph the photo during

a later visit to the restaurant.


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