During your teenage years, were there times that you experienced very strong emotions for someone? You may have had hopes, fears, and desires… wishing you could tell this person how you really felt about him or her.
When I was 16 years old I was seeing someone who I liked and admired very much. But I was unable to express my feelings to him, as I was shy and felt awkward. I found myself writing about him… and one day, for his birthday, I gave him these “poems” I had written. (I didn’t really consider them to be poems… they were just my thoughts.. my thoughts now exposed on several small pieces of paper!)
I do not remember if I mailed them to him or handed them to him directly. I do remember that he did not read them in front of me, of which I was grateful. I wondered if he would ever talk to me again after reading about my feelings for him in these writings. Fortunately, the next day when I saw him at school he did not seem uncomfortable around me. He did not mention the poems, other to say that he let his mother read them. I was surprised, but not embarrassed that he had shared them with her.
I never did get past my shyness and after a few weeks I began to feel that he was just stopping by to meet me after class out of feeling obligated. So, still being my shy self, I wrote him a letter expressing that I very much wanted to continue our relationship but that I also sensed he no longer wanted to see me. And that if that was true, he could simply not show up to meet after the next class and then I would know that he wanted the relationship to be over. And that is what happened. He did not show up after class.
Years later, this is not a sad memory. I have fond memories of the few times that we went on dates — and attending my very first concert with him! And I have kind memories toward my younger self who was not able to openly express her feelings for others. It is not always easy to show your vulnerability to someone you are afraid of scaring away, at any age.
Below is the first poem that I wrote — about the smile of his eyes.
The Smile of Your Eyes
I seek to know of you for your smile —
It appears intense with a desire to reach out,
Yet is tainted by a confused sadness.
My curiosity aroused, I wish to understand.
Still, I fear learning
For I have found knowledge hurts at times.
So I position myself safely away
Free to visualize you as I please.
But dreaming becomes tiresome
And a want for reality perpetuates
I must risk my stability and find out who you are —
For in my dreams, a wish has grown to share with you:
The sad beauty of the dark, bare trees
Silhouetted against a misty grey sky.
The drizzling rain
Floating down upon the dampened ground.
And I want for you:
To feel the warmth and security of the sun’s rays
The coolness of a soft breeze —
And hear the rustle of leaves,
As the wind passes on it’s never-ending journey.
Why do I think of one I know so little of?
Your smile caused a spark, which may become a flame —
While I dream the spark cannot grow, and I am safe.
If I learn of your smile
The flame will have a chance to grow —
The flame of love and joy — so beautiful to obtain —
So much pain and emptiness when snuffed out.
But I feel I can control the spark, if I move with caution —
And let it grow into a flame gradually, if at all.
This is why I think of you
And shall try to know of you — for the smile of your eyes.
— Copyright © 1975 Dora E. (Haessner) Crow, age 16