To The Girl Who Wasn't Asked To The Prom

By Edwin Romond

You were the only one in my class to feel
for Amanda Wingfield and let her ache
wound your heart. Your essay was a dirge
for her loneliness and I learned you knew
what it meant to be abandoned and need
what you don’t have. On this May Friday,
spring’s dressed up for love but you sit
among the empty desks of those dismissed
early for prom hair cuts and tux rentals.
And, while you read next week’s homework,
I wish, for just tonight, I could be seventeen
and handsome, some fantasy prince to give
you something to talk about on Monday
when the halls will be loud with stories.
As long as I’m making fiction,
I could sketch us waltzing until midnight
and then a long slow drive to the shore
where we’d find what moved Byron
and Keats to poetry. I take necessary safety
in knowing you will never see what I write
to you here behind my briefcase for I do love
my wife and I’d hate to see myself
in the newspaper with other middle-aged men
and “name-withheld ” minors. I write this
only because your blue eyes are swelling
behind Chopin’s The Awakening and I fear
you think romance will never touch your life,
that the rose of your heart is not good enough
to be picked. Perhaps tonight you would change
your mind if only I could ask you to dance.

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