My First Love
Trips to the beach
Weekend shopping sprees
You holding my hand in yours,
Protecting me from the world.
I was your “Boop”.
Tall, lean and caramel brown;
A clefted chin and
Your singing drove me to breath-taking giggles-
I thought no one could compare…
Lonely days of waiting melted into lonely nights
And inconsolable tears.
Years went by.
You came back, charming as ever.
With your sincere words and tender kisses, that would lead to
Days unaccounted for
The shock of your fist knocking me to the floor.
The flashing lights,
Me giving a statement
As a crimson print settled onto my pale cheekbone.
At graduation you came smiling
As if you had a hand in my milestone.
Be nice and smile for the camera, said mom.
You had no right.
So save the apologies
And personal attacks on my integrity.
You were an asshole long before the rock
Became your motivation.
I remember Mommy on the floor of my room
With a blood-stained Afro.
Me, wide-eyed in four-year-old feety pajamas
And you, swooping down to take me.
I remember our trip to Florida in a yellow, foreign car
You shimmying up a tree to get me a coconut.
Then twenty years later without decency or restraint, you shattered that tender memory
with the truth-
A truth that would have changed my identity.
So excuse me.
Excuse my contempt.
Your family and
Excuse my hardened heart
And inability to trust.
That mean streak that everyone loves to hate-
Lovingly molded by you.
For shielding my children
From your poisonous nature
And lobotomizing you from my life.
As a woman, my journey continues.
For the one to console me
Who will guide and protect me.
To rub my hair
And tenderly kiss my forehead
As a father would.
To rescue me
From the world
A girl never forgets her first love.