Seven-years-old, or: Forever

A haibun

I still remember her name: Jacqueline.

At the time, I was in first grade and feeling very unsure of what life might have in store.

My family would be moving from Iowa to New Jersey shortly; and I’d never see any of my little classmates again. On what I believe was my final day of school, I brought my camera, presumably to take photographs of all that I would be leaving behind in Iowa City.

All throughout that year, I’d been chasing her around on the playground but never quite knew what to do when I caught her, which always left me with a confused sense of awkward unfulfillment… Jackie.

That final day, she was wearing a purple t-shirt and skirt, squinting through her big glasses, tousled brown hair aglow in the sunlight. Excitedly, I asked her to stand still next to the school building because I was “taking photos of everything” before moving far away. In truth, I only ever wanted to have a photograph of her.

fuzzy photograph
Iowa afternoon light
squinting, skinny girl

d’Verse poetics prompt

After St Valentine left the building.

At d’Verse, poets were encouraged to do write poems the Valentines that didnโ€™t happen. The lost loves, the ones that didnโ€™t work out: the holiday romance whose number you lost; the girl you chatted with on a train who was travelling to meet her fiancรฉ; the guy who seemed perfect, but stood you up.

Go Dog Go Cafeโ€™s Haibun Wednesday

  • This weekโ€™s prompt is to write a haibun about a love lost.
  • From
    • In How to Haiku, Bruce Ross writes, “If a haiku is an insight into a moment of experience, a haibun is the story or narrative of how one came to have that experience.”

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

69 thoughts on “Seven-years-old, or: Forever”

  1. I, on the other hand, while moving from my old school, didn’t want any memory of that hanging in my mind…I wanted to move away, it was getting frustrating back there ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  2. Oh ,these are the memories that never fade. For me, my first-grade crush was a curly haired blonde girl with Coke bottle glasses named Sally. Your accompanying verse is among the best Iโ€™ve ever read at capturing a moment in time. Itโ€™s that good, David. Youโ€™ve got a rare gift, good sir. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. This is so sweet, David. Do you still have the photo of Jaqueline?
    A Methodist minister’s daughter, I grew up in a series of small towns in Pennsylvania and Virginia. We moved every two or three years. In third grade, two girls named Susan and I were best friends…the Three Musketeers! When we moved away, I was reluctant to get that close to anyone again. “Parting is such sweet sorrow!” โค It was interesting living in all those beautiful places, and I do have some great memories!

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