It Started on a Bench

I was eleven and had never seen so many pretty girls in my life
Sitting on a bench with just a bit of room at the end
I was surprised when, eyes flashing, a young beauty squeezed in beside me
How funny life is. She would be my most loyal and loving life-long friend.

She was an older woman of twelve but I neither knew nor cared
I was thrilled that a beautiful girl had spoken to me
Touched me too, with her shoulder when she sat
This church camp business was more than I thought it could be.

The top of Mount Eagan was the destination for a hike next day
It was beautiful at the peak–view of a small river winding far below
A large wooden cross that touched the hearts of all
Why all this excitement, beauty, and peace? I didn’t know.

As she and I walked together that day on the mountain-top
I wanted to make her my girl-friend but didn’t know how
Somehow our hands touched. I reached out my little finger
It caught hers. They wrapped around each other. Oh, wow.

In another step or two our hands came together.
I don’t know when she fell in love, but for me, it was then, right there
It was a blissful week for this eleven-year-old boy
Someone tell me. Where have the years gone? Where?

She lived in the city and I in a small town ten miles away
Lunch money, 30 cents. Bus fare to the city, 35 cents up, 35 cents back.
A trolley ran from downtown by her house. Ten cents out, ten cents back.
I still hear those ancient trolley wheels and their constant clackity-clack.

We stayed in touch and dated some through high school
Dating was hard–I was a senior before I was old enough to drive
When I left for college, she married. I guess she got in a hurry for life.
It broke my heart, but our connection was still alive.

Her marriage did not work but by the time she called I had my family
Cheating was not my style or hers. We talked after my commitment ended
Things have changed over the years but not much between us
She does the calling. How are you? How are the children? I love you.

Ray Kenneth Clark

March 18 · 2 Comments

2 Responses

  1. Beautiful, I am laughing and crying at the same time… I have a story very similar… I am hoping one day we get a little further down this road…Also why are we both up a 3:48 am???? Keep writing.

  2. Thank you so much. 3:48 am? It was the dreaded zone… 🙂

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