First Day of Girls

in seventh grade
first hour I saw
carmela occhipinti
big itailian smile
ta-tas to match
orange mini dress
off-white pokla-dots
are there bombshells
at 13?
never saw this
in grammar school–
those chocolate eyes
cut right to the center
of a 7th grade
boy’s heart
nothing else mattered
before or after

that polka dot image
was burned into this
kid’s brain
testosterone &
awkwardness
raced to every corner
of my body
as I stumbled
into the chair beside her
–slouched in jeans
white t-shirt
checked her out
through the corner
of my eye
checking me out
through the corner
of hers

today I learned
through some reunion site
she had died–
breast cancer
of all damn things
and it made me sad
I hoped her life
was good
as I saw her
in that mini dress
and remembered
how many times
I dropped my pencil

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31 Responses to First Day of Girls

  1. Bob says:

    Beautiful, Scot… my Carmela’s name was Cheri, and not a day went by for twenty years afterward that I didn’t think of her.

  2. Scot says:

    thanks Bob– nothing else can be said 🙂

  3. David Rheins says:

    Scot — as Andrew Marvell would ask, did you ever go beyond ‘dropping your pencil?”

    Tell me you are not J. Alfred Prufrock, nor was meant to be.

    Roll the universe into a ball — or at least roll the great polka-dotted ta-tas, if only metaphysically.

    Thanks for the vision, just what I need on this Monday evening

  4. paisley says:

    such childhood innocence.. a shame life is what it is sometimes… this was so cool.. i don’t have a boy that i remember in particular,, but maybe that is because none of them exuded the sexuality that carmela did in this write…..

  5. kimtblogger says:

    it’s nice to think that your memories of her are of her beauty… and that hormone driven lust of adolescent boys. I think she would have appreciated it!

  6. theironwang says:

    goddamn it i think im crying. beautiful poem man

    http://suburbanconnoisseurs.wordpress.com/

  7. Scot says:

    you’re welcome david–not sure I did go beyond

  8. Scot says:

    paisley
    thanks for reading!

  9. Scot says:

    kim
    things do change–thanks for stopping in

  10. johemmant says:

    This is a beautiful, beautiful poem……..so sad but a gorgeous tribute.

  11. Scot says:

    theironwang
    thanks for stopping in

  12. Scot says:

    Jo
    I will let you know how the book deal is going–THANKS

  13. Vincent says:

    Was that really her name? “Occhipinti” = “painted eyes”. anyhow beautiful. It’s hard to put individual feeling into a poem so as to convey something of the feeling universally. It takes a lot more than the words. Something else comes too.

    But on the level of words, one of them stood out to me as wrong: “testosterone”. I bet it wasn’t a word in use at the time, or if it was I bet you never used it then: this medical term that we don’t really understand but use as a metaphor for something else that we also don’t understand.

  14. Julie says:

    Absolutely beautiful. I like the word testosterone. Maybe that’s me. I tend to like testosterone. But…seriously…it’s the voice of the narrator who is looking back, so it works for me.

    That ending is so powerful. A poetic punch in the gut. Also, the fact that the narrator found out through “some reunion site” is a great detail that tells so much. Excellent work!

  15. 1poet4man says:

    This was very well done, and I am pleased to have read it…it has all the right elements of a story straight from the heart on a collision course with reality. Bravo!

  16. lissa says:

    i agree. beautiful story from beginning to end. very powerful piece. what a tragic ending.

  17. Scot says:

    vincent
    yes that was her name and no it wasn’t used then–good point–I think we used hormone? Thanks for the read–appreciated as always.

  18. Scot says:

    Julie
    thank you–it is looking back so I guess it is either or…

  19. Scot says:

    1poet4man
    thanks for your comments!

  20. Scot says:

    lissa
    hey, thanks for making a stop–appreciated!

  21. Beautiful and moving poem…

  22. Scot says:

    Thanks Juliet for commenting/much appreciated

  23. Scot says:

    Thank You–when are you going to start moving the pen?

  24. […] (personal essay) – Elle .The Trouble with my Kind of Deaf (personal essay) – Distracted Spunk .First Day of Girls (poem) – Be Not Inhospitable to Strangers .Affairs of the Heart (writers discuss using love as a […]

  25. Hello,
    Today is the anniversary of the death of that beautiful girl you knew. Her life was full and rich and she remained beautiful to the end. She was my soul mate and we shared an amazing life time together.
    She was married with two children. A daughter Chelsea (who looks exactly like her, and a son, Evan.
    She was hugely successful with IBM and surged to the top of whatever endeaver she approached.
    And as for the testosterone… I think my husband always had a little crush on her too! Who could blame him! She was amazing…but I dont have to tell you that.
    Thank you for giving me a forum to remember her. You can image my surprise when I found you poem on this of all days.

  26. Scot says:

    Rosemary
    We were friends at Pittman–I remember you–hope you are well…I am glad to hear this bit of her life and like you said you wouldn’t have a crush on her. I am deeply sorry for your loss…
    my best to you and your family,
    Scot Young

  27. Scot says:

    well–maybe i do not remember quite so well–i took it you were carmela’s sister, but i recall her name was June? Maybe not–It has been a long time– anyway I am glad you liked this.

  28. She did have a sister June…She is in New York now. I was her older sister by 5 years. We all loved it… June thought it was great. You have a wonderful talent in your ability to place words to the tone of your emotions. Keep on keepin on. I myself am an artist of 20 years and I know how somethings cannot be expressed and some have to be!

  29. Mary Jo says:

    Scot, Rosemary told me of this and I too was very touched. Carmela and I remained friends throughout her life. I miss her so much! Hope you are doing well. MJ

  30. Scot says:

    Mary Jo
    Thanks for leaving a foot print…appreciated.

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