Monday, November 27, 2023

"The First Time Crying”

Poem of the Day, Monday, November 27, 2023

"The First Time Crying”

The first time I remember really crying
was when Mrs. Jeppson started reading
Where the Red Fern Grows
when I was in 4th grade.

I sat in the first seat in the third row
of desks against the north window
of the old rock school in Menan.
I remember taking the book home

and reading it out by the barn
as I sat on the haystack
out of sight of everyone.
That’s when I cried so hard

for the first time when I read
about the sad demise
of Old Dan after a fight
with a cougar in the woods

and later the sad ending
of Little Ann on top of Old Dan’s grave.
It was tragic then
and is just as tragic now

when I think of that book
and my tears falling
on bales of hay that we fed
the horses and cows.

When my brothers asked why
my eyes were so red, I just told them
that hay dust got into my eyes
as I did my chores, knowing it was

really the catastrophic deaths
of Old Dan and Little Ann swimming
in my heart and eyes and lingering
longer than they should have.

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