First Kiss / Last Kiss, Lake Padden

1. First Kiss

Do you remember
that day at the lake,
how pleasant it was,
how the sun shone
on the lake waters,
how pleasantly cool
it was along the trail
through the wooded
trail around the lake?
Do you remember
how we didn’t talk
about our divorces,
about your grown kids
or about my cats
or about the logistics
of it all?
Do you remember
our first kiss?
I haven’t forgotten
how we held hands,
how we sat on a bench
in an opening along
the lake shore,
kissed and breathed
in each other’s
sweet attention,
how we ignored
those passing by.

2. Interlude

The Native Hawaiians
believe that breath
(ha) is sacred.
Foreigners — and finally
Caucasians only —
are referred to as haole
(ole, without;
ha ole, without breath).
I grew up in the islands;
as a local haole
I was tolerated.
Hawai‛i was home
for a long time,
until it wasn’t,
until I felt I was
no longer welcome.
I was haole,
a Caucasian man
without (sacred) breath.
I haven’t forgotten.

3. Commentary

What if every breath
were sacred?
What if every
shared breath —
every kiss —
were sacred?
We would breathe
and we would kiss
with great care
with great diligence.

4. Last Kiss

Do you remember
that day at the lake,
our last kiss,
how we backed
away from each other,
how we backed
away from the idea
of us, resumed
being ‘just friends’?
I haven’t forgotten.
Now we pursue
the sacred


Andrew Shattuck McBride
NaPoWriMo 2014 ~ Day 27

About Andrew Shattuck McBride

I am a writer, editor, writing coach, and consultant. I work in a variety of genres, including poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction. I also have a couple of novels simmering on back burners. THANK YOU to Nan Macy of Village Books for taking this photo (June 2011).
This entry was posted in Andrew Shattuck McBride Writer, Can We Talk?, NaPoWriMo ~ 2014, Poets, Samples, Trail Offerings, Transformation. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to First Kiss / Last Kiss, Lake Padden

  1. says:

    Great Poem Andy. Will you read it for Jennifer and me next Tuesday? Judy

  2. susanissima says:

    This is intimate and full of breath…keep breathing and writing, Andy. All the best. S

  3. Dear S,
    Thank you so much — you are so kind.
    Hopefully I have many more years… of breathing and writing!
    Thanks again, A

  4. How do you do this?! Such a masterful combination of beautiful and wrenching.

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