My Love, sometimes when I reflect
on the night I lay close to you,
I know I did not love you then.
I was young and foolish, looking for excitement,
and you were so appealing.
Your dark eyes tempted me,
enticing me to come with you.

I did not give you my heart.
It belonged not to you,
nor to any one,
and I did not love you then.

You gave me water in a paper cup.
Strange, my Love, how I remember
the trivial things about our first encounter.
Do you still use Listerine?
We buried a bug down your sink with hot water.
If only feelings could be buried as easily.
Lucky bug, searching for a morsel,
he needs nothing anymore.

You had a red blanket,
brought from your mother's home, you said.
It seemed to match
the vase of poppies
on the dresser.
We shared a pillow
because you did not have but one.
I couldn't do what you asked --
I did not love you then.

Isn't it funny how people change?
Was that me lying in your bed,
amusedly watching you look out
your tenth-floor window when the day dawned?
We were strangers meeting for the first time,
and you called me Shirley.

You were sweet to hold me when I asked you to.
But I did not love you then.
When that awakening came to me
I wrote you a note telling you so.
The next day I wondered how
I could have been so brave.

My deepest hope is for a second encounter,
which would really be the first,
because I love you now,
and you would have my all --
the very soul of my heart.

Copyright 1978 Ruth Gillis

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