You lived down the street,
the brown house with the privet hedge.
The grass, manicured and perfect,
marigolds planted along the drive.
I used to cut through your yard.
Your father would yell for me
to stay off of the grass.
But I would chance a pass
to get to the next street.
In the upstairs window, a face
always appeared when your father
released his gentle tirade. You.
Dark eyes and a generous smile.
Dark flowing tresses and
happy sun dresses were your appeal.
And every time you would steal
a glance out your window, our eyes met.
Your smile drew mine out of the
shadowy thicket of inexperience,
and I welcomed your “intrusion”
into the realm of my consciousness.
A day came when I entered your yard,
clean jeans and hair combed,
sweaty palms rubbing against
the coarse denim of my youth.
“Excuse me, Sir” I called.
“Would it be alright if I
went through your yard?”
And your father looked up
from tending his garden, hoe in hand.
In that moment, I knew from where
your smile had come. Waving a gloved hand,
he relented. “Go right ahead”
I saw him glance upward and
again his smile beamed. I turned to look.
You. Dark eyes and a generous smile.
Dark flowing hair and a flair
for always appearing when I would
pass through. I searched your father’s eyes
for permission of a sort, and he simply nodded.
When I looked back to your window,
you were gone. You had come to stand
on the back porch of your nervousness.
“Good Morning” you demurely cooed.
“Hello” my voice cracked, as I turned
in my sudden shyness. “Hey!” you recovered,
“Can I walk with you?” Again to your father;
a broad smile and a wave of a gloved hand.
“Go right ahead” his smile beamed.
Many times I crossed through under the guise of
getting to the next street, but I knew your
smile would always be waiting, Cheshire Cat
at the ready; touched by your grace.
We’ve met many times in our imaginations.
I’ve known your smile in the beauty of your words.
Friends in the sharing of distance and
our known anonymity. And the wave of a gloved hand.