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About the Poem

I have been in love with the same man since I was still eleven years old, and he was not yet a man. Many lifetimes have jolted us back and forth, but our love for each other has remained steady and firm. What a gift this is!

Thirty-Six Years Now

I was twelve years old when he sat behind me
On the girl's side of the class, ignoring the boys’ taunting,
And played with my long hair hanging blonde
Over the back of the chair.
Braving the teacher’s glare when I turned
At his tug, removing one single hair from my head
And saw that wide, bright smile
That sweet, teasing smile
That lovely, warm smile
That has melted my heart now for thirty-six years.

We walked home from school together,
Kicking the fall leaves, scuffing through the grass,
Talking endlessly of life, and soon, of love.
Picking up chestnuts, and shining their smooth
Auburn sides on our coats,
Our breath making little clouds in the chill air
While he held his arm around me,
That long, tender arm around me,
That gentle, loving arm around me
That has warmed my soul now for thirty-six years.
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© 1999 Rosemary J. Gwaltney Please respect the rights of the author and Passions in Poetry. If you would like to use this poem on your own web page, please contact the Author. Thank you.

2 Visitor Comments

He sat behind me in 8th grade and pulled at my hair. In 10th grade I passed him entering a class. Our eyes met and I melted. Again,another class,our eyes met,I melted. I passed him as I was leaving school. He stopped me and said (so and so wants to go out with you)I replied (no thanks,but I will go out with you. )We spent the rest of the school year wrapped around each other kissing. That was 36 years ago. I found him 6 weeks ago. Since that day we are wrapped around each other kissing. And still I MELT. Thank you so much for the poem !
This poem touched me. I was in grade school when my one true love and I first met. So often you hear that 'children' know nothing of love, but I feel they know more than those who criticize. My true love and I never found out what our lives together might have in store for us, but to this day I love him with all my heart. It was nice to read about a love that lasted.

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