USMC E Co, 2nd Bn, 26th Rgmt KIA-Dec. 6, 1968-Vietnam
You, the proverbial tall, dark and handsome At age 17. Me, the acne faced, chubby romantic At age 15. We were the perfect compliment
to each other. (We both loved you.)
I memorized you, Your face, Your walk, Your smile, Your voice.
Your effect on me was incredible. You must have wondered HOW I always
happened to be where you were. Radar. (My heart was on your frequency.)
I responded to your voice with utter joy. Moments of bliss When
you could say my name. Heart-rush When you would casually call me: "Babe". (You called everyone: "Babe"...but my radar tuned that out.)
Baby-face, How I loved to look at that face. No work of art compared To its exquisite form. Not yet spoiled By even a hint of a
beard, It was perfect. Love reflected beauty And I was your willing
looking glass. (Did you ever catch me staring?)
You had a distinctive swagger And an attitude to match. It was
part of your teenage charm. You were tough-tender And sarcastic-sweet.
I never knew which side of you I would meet on the street. (You brought
out the poet in me.)
Brown eyes---they were so deep. I think I fell in A couple of
times. I managed to tread their fluid depths And survive. Barely.
They caught me And held me under Until I had to catch my breath. (No
life preserver needed, thank you!)
Did you touch my hand? Or did I take a short ride to the stars And
back In the space of a moment? You created me with a touch And formed
me with your smile. Slow motion, Stop action, Instant replay.
(Personal fantasy, now playing...)
King of my dreams, You starred in every one. Directed by me,
Produced by me, Co-starring me. You entered stage right, To thrill my
soul. Cut. Print. Award winning. You always got the girl. The
reviews were superb. (I was the consummate critic.)
A nineteen year old soldier, You never returned From that long, and
sad WAR And you didn't say: "GOODBYE." I cried. Because my prayers
couldn't keep you SAFE And my love couldn't bring you BACK. There was no
comfort Except a stack of letters in my drawer. (They live there
First Love, Your memory is my delight. I call it to my heart For a
gentle dose of youthful longing. To remember the sweetness Of its
mystery, The innocence of its desire. (I leave out the painful parts.)
Sometimes a song, Sometimes a place. Your ageless spirit appears
In curious response. It warms me When my thoughts are cold.
What-might-have-beens Arrange themselves in patterns in my mind. A
puzzle never solved. (Who held the missing pieces?)
When I see myself reflected In the granite WALL Behind the etching of YOUR NAME I think about How YOU Are now the mirror. Reflecting a
woman Who remembers her FIRST LOVE