For Hannah, on Her Birthday

Today is my best friend from high school’s birthday. We weren’t in touch for many years, but we are once again. I believe I sent her a copy of this poem, but since then her house burned down, she moved numerous times, and possibly she forgot about this completely. Now that I’m looking at the published version, in Orphic Lute I remember being a little upset because part of what I considered both a dedication and part of the title was left off.  i am going to restore it here.

Hannah Dancing
                                     (for Bob)

He wanted to send her a rose
just one rose
to remind her of the bouquet
from ten years ago.
The feeling was there,
muted,
but there.

He’d love other women,
loved one now,
yet her buzzing,
the way she tossed her shortened locks,
that green myopic tease,
how she said, “Hello, Bob,”
brought a shadow
jolting back.

It wasn’t only that she was the first.
He’d cared more about the second girl,
written Lori a song;
Lori of the burning hair,
Lori of the sixty months,
Lori he’d loved and left.

He told his present love,
“All I felt
for Hannah and Lori–
I feel more than that for you–
but I can’t shake those images,

those silver bangle bracelet
images of her dancing,
raising her arms in the humid moonlight,
her breasts swaying in the night wind,
those images
imbedded in my mind
of Hannah dancing.

Although I can’t find a definitive history, Orphic Lute was published for almost 50 years, possibly until the time of the dominance of the Internet.

  1. #1 by Caroline on February 21, 2014 - 11:10 am

    You are one of the few people I know who has maintained deep ties with high school friends. OR it could be that I am one of a handful of people in the world who has NOT maintained ties with high school friends and I just don’t know enough people who have. My life changed so radically even a few months out of high school that I never felt I could repair the broken links to people I knew then. Nor did I want to. But reading your work kind of gives me the feeling that maybe it would have been interesting to know them after high school, after all.

  2. #2 by cryptictown on February 22, 2014 - 9:34 am

    C2 must have made the right friends in high school. If I had, I would probably have kept in touch with them.

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