Firsts (A Story Poem)


I rummaged through that closet, dumped out every dresser drawer
I just had to find it before I walked out the front door
Nowhere to be seen, I looked everywhere, I swear
If not it, there's nothing else that I would wear

"Hey, Ma," I screamed down the halls
"Have you seen my blue jacket? I can't find it at all."

"It's hanging in the laundry room. I had it pressed"
Leave it to Ma, I should've guessed
"I knew you wouldn't leave the house without it tonight
So, when I found it, oh, it was such an awful sight
I just couldn't let you leave with it in that condition
Son, one of these days, you'll have to learn to pay attention."

"Yeah, yeah," I said, trying to sound glim through my stupid grin

"One day, when I speak, maybe you'll listen"

"One day, maybe, what about the pants"

"All cleaned, and pressed, and ready for your dance"

"Thanks, Ma" I said snatching my dress suit from the wall
Leave it to Ma, to always be there to be my savior

I pulled on the pants, slipped my gray shirt on my back
Buttoned every button, slicked the front of these old slacks
Suit of satin blue, shirt of brushed nickel gray
Now, for the tie to finish this display
Ah, the black silk with the silvery stepped inlay
All dressed, I was ready for my date

"Hey, Dad, can I..."

"...borrow the car?" he finished
"It's gassed and washed and waiting. Just be home by ten"

There you were, as I pulled into the drive
Sitting on the porch, just waiting for me to arrive
I was so nervous I almost missed the brake
The engine gave a rev, but I caught my mistake
I saw you giggle as the car screeched to a fault
That look on your dad's face could've been one of assault
I fumbled with the handle as I put the car in park
I couldn't think of a worse way this night could start
Then I saw him laugh as I fumbled with the door
He said something to you, I swear you almost hit the porch

"You know," he chuckled in my direction
"I think I was just as nervous when I caught her mom's attention"

I tried to laugh along, through my anxiety
But I was taken back when you stood and looked at me
There you were, dark, satin purple just above your knee
Lilac sash with flowers sewn into the seam
I swear, even to this day, it's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen
I stumbled, and I mumbled, couldn't find a word to speak
There I stood, crooked little grin, the whole world in a haze
I couldn't see anything but your image in my gaze

In the car a little later, on our way to the dance
You looked at me and smiled then gave in to chance
You moved a little closer, and brushed your fingers on my hand
I had barely noticed I was clawing at the strands
I glanced at you quickly as you smile back at me
Thank God that old car had a bench seat
I put my arm up on the back while you leaned into me
If perfect was a moment, then this was what perfect would be

"The closer, the better," you breathed to me

Standing on that dance floor, shaking nervously
I took a step forward, guiding you to follow me
You looked at me with the prettiest little smile
Then you matched my gesture, and placed your hand in mine
I'm still sorry about my two hulking left feet
You didn't seem to care, or notice, as you stared right through me
I tried to look confident, I tried to stand up tall
You pulled me closer to catch me if I might fall
Rested your head on my shoulder, breathed a sigh, and matched my feet
Upping the pace of my heart's already rapid beat

"Mmm, the closer, the better," you whispered quietly

As that first night ended, we were sitting in your driveway
You looked back at me, a glow began to emanate
I was entranced by everything in that moment that made you, you
My mind was racing, my heartbeat pacing, I knew nothing else would do
My palm was sweaty in your hand, but you didn't seem to care
There was nothing we could do but sit and stare
Your eyes glittering, gazing sweetly into mine
I hadn't even noticed, I'd lost all track of time
You leaned in, gazing furtively

"The closer, the better," you said pressing your lips to me


You went off to college, I took a job at the local hardware store
You said goodbye, like it meant forever, before you walked out the door
By Christmas break, with naught but silence in between
I was ready to move on and let go of your memory
When out of the blue, my phone began to beep
There on the screen, a message, with your name
Three simple words that only said "Come see me"
I almost hit the floor as my heart began to race

I raced across three counties, even crossed that old state line
If it brought me to you, there's was no place I wouldn't drive
I drove and drove until the morning took the night
When I pulled up to the dorms you were staring at the sky
I was so excited, I almost missed the tears in your eyes
I reached my hand for you as you stared through tear stained cheeks
No words were spoken, you wrapped your arms around me
I held you as the raindrops began to soak the scene
You squeezed like your were holding on for dear life

"The closer, the better," you said trying to stifle cries

We woke up the next morning, all tangled in a mess
I'd finally found something to make my racing mind find rest
You looked at me with music behind your eyes
Placed the sweetest kiss upon my lips and held me tight

"Definitely, the closer, the better," you said breathlessly

I went home after new year's with your scent still on my lips
I made it halfway there, then wondered how I'd get through this
Your words resonated in my head
"The closer, the better" is what you always said

I turned the car around in some old gravel drive
I knew where I belonged, and it was right there by your side
I sped back through the country roads to find my way back to you
Just like before, I knew that nothing else would do
When I pulled up, you were still right there staring at the sky
I'd hoped that you were saying little prayers for the stars to be my guide

"I couldn't leave," I choked out, running back

"The closer, the better," you said to that

After your graduation, you ran from the stage to me
I took you in my arms a breathed as our lips began to meet

"Have all your dreams come true," I asked innocently

"Almost," you smiled, "they're getting closer, and the closer"

"The better," I finished your favorite speech

Later in the evening as we sat down to eat
I looked into your eyes once more then kissed you on the cheek
I reached into my pocket, pulling out a diamond ring
Gazed at you intently while I dropped down to one knee

"How does today sound as the first of forever?"
After all, we'd shared all our firsts together

You looked back at me, tears forming in your eyes
"The closer, the better," you whispered as you smiled


I wrote you this letter, slipped it in the pocket of your purse
You left the house so angry, I began to fear the worst
I don't even remember what the fight was all about
It didn't really matter after seeing you storm out
I folded this up neatly, on the front, wrote your favorite phrase
In hopes that you will find it and come back home to stay


"A freak thunderstorm stuck the area today, with violent wind gust up to 120 miles an hour..."

She scrolled through the headlines as she sipped her coffee, feeling sour
She swiped through the stories aimlessly

"Power outages across the central and eastern parts of the state..."

"Refill, ma'am," the waitress offered, generously

She nodded, as the girl poured more coffee

"City crews scouring the area..."

"Darkness looms in wake of freak storm..."

At that one, she paused, barely seeing what it said
She reached into her purse to pull some money for a tip
The folded paper laid neatly in her hand
She opened it and read until she could understand
The story of her life in words laid before her on the page
The tears began to form as the rain began to fade
She rushed out of the coffee shop, left her tablet behind
When she returned to fetch it, the next story caught her site

"Man pronounced dead at the scene in single car accident. Officials say storm to blame"

She froze, in that moment, stuck standing there in place
Staring at the screen, at the picture on the page


Dressed in black, drenched from head to toe
She placed a folded piece of paper on the ground before the stone
Down on her knees not knowing how to let go

"The closer, the better," she cried out to the ghosts

There, laid neatly on the stone, a letter
Written sweetly were four simple words "The closer, the better..."

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Yeah. I hate it. But I wrote it, so here it is.

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