Something Old, Something New: Away from Me

Young Love
I love reflecting on my old writing. The younger I was, the more my poetry tried to force rhyme. Probably because a lot of my influences came from “A Children’s Garden of Verses” and other children’s books where rhyme made the poetry easy to remember for anyone under the age of ten. Free verse is for the mature poets, who can find the rhythm in syllables and the meaning embedded in lines rather than between them.

As far as the poem below goes, I think it’s about a boy who is far away, or feels far away, but who probably likes the writer, or so she thinks. This is about her desire to be with him, and so she’s projecting her thoughts onto him hoping the situation will change. I was such a romantic teenager. But then again, weren’t we all?

Away from Me by 14-year-old Alexa

Away from me
You always go
If we’re in love
I’ll never know

Away from me
You always seem
To be the one
That’s in my dream

Away from me
You always fly
To watch the clouds
Race in the sky

Away from me
You always run
To sit and see
The setting sun

Away from me
You always stare
Across the room
When I am there

Away from me
You never are
That is my wish
Upon a star

The rewrite below is a little more serious. A little less hopeful.

Away it Went by 27-year-old Alexa

It seemed so simple when we were young,
when punches on the arm
were the grandest
of romantic gestures,
and when spotting each other
meant blushes and the future arrival
of airplane notes
that would dip and dart across the classroom sky.

But you were always out of reach of airplanes,
and blushes,
and punches.

Your grand gestures were stolen glances
that were too well-timed,
too subtle to feel them upon my back,
to have had the chance to turn wistfully,
cheeks a-blush at the thought of gazes.

You never let me in—
you let me go.

Until years passed and punches turned to heartbreaks,
blushes saved for bedrooms and too much wine,
and the airplane notes, now the occasional electronic blip,
messages fired so quickly, that mistakes were always made.

We complicated what used to be simple.

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