First Love

For Danny
© Bonnie Staiger 2003

Born one day apart
our Moms in labor together
we rode bikes in 2nd grade
in 6th grade we played kick-the-can

As freshman we danced cheek-to-cheek
I wore a yellow dress and
a corsage from him

Peggy Helfinstein said
I stole her boyfriend
Me? Not Danny

He drove all night from Montana
when he learned of my divorce
just to remind me
that we are soul mates

He called every year on our birthday
even when he had to drive
down the mountain to a payphone
sometimes he was drunk

The last time he called
I didn’t tell him about
my breast cancer
afraid he’d worry

And he didn’t tell me
that he was dying

Three weeks later
he was gone

Author: Bonnie Larson Staiger

Winner 'Voices of the Plains and Prairies Poetry Award' by NDSU Press. My chapbook, 'Destiny Manifested' is scheduled for release Nov 4, 2018. Fascinated with the fusion of the written word on the printed page. On my blog, North Dakota Roots, I share poetry and observations about life.

3 thoughts on “First Love”

  1. Oh, that’s so sad. I thought I was reading a happy sweet poem about a first love, but bam! Not what I was expecting. I guess poets like surprise endings just like novelists.

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