Sunday, August 12, 2012

The First Time

I remember the first time
that i saw him sitting
in the corner couch
twitching his thick brow,
forcing an uneasy smile
at every other person 
walking through the door
and then making a paused
conversation with the old man
crouched beside him.

The hall was filled with smiling
strangers who made funny noises
with their bare mouths
while kneeling to pinch
my cheeks or fluffing
my ribboned hair.

My feet barely touched ground
as i twirled in my vanilla hued
dress and became dizzy. 
But even as I spun, i saw 
his eyes follow me as i hid 
behind the periwinkle flowered 
muskoka* chair in the patio,
peeping in once in a while.

Pulling me out from behind it 
my grandmother whispered,
"Go say hello."

His large date coloured hands
held the grandest box id ever seen,
encased in powder blue paper-
dancing snowmen and candy canes.

'Do you know who i am? Your Papa..'
I looked at his bulky leather shoes
his tilted grey barret that shadowed
his large brown eyes, and glasses
with rims thick as bricks;
I said with a hint of a frown,
'I don't think so. You don't 
even look like me.' 

*Muskoka Chair is a type of chair used outdoors. The original Muskoka chair was made with eleven pieces of wood, cut from a single board. 

First published in Songbook Circa, November 2011.

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