Diana Hendry

My First Love

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I made the mistake of getting in touch with him

twenty years after – invited him to stay.

He was almost alcoholic, had lost his front teeth,

told endless anecdotes and, worst of all,

was allergic to my dog. You’d think that’d be

a cure or antidote to all those years of unrequited love

spent yearning and longing, that I could forget

that time — was I seventeen? — when he asked me

to go with him to the States, could forget that moment

years later when, at long long last he proposed,

could forget that because I was young and fearful

and he was wild, arty and penniless, I kept saying no.

Less easy to forget how, ever since, I’ve wondered...