I supposed I was going steady with Clarissa.
We didn’t do many things. We had lunch,
I wheeled my bike beside her to the bus stop,
I spoke politely with her many friends. Clarissa
was a popular girl. She was so together,
I marvelled at how sane she was. Clarissa
did not like scenes. She didn’t get a kick out
of drama, like Elizabeth had. I counted myself
immensely lucky. We hadn’t kissed yet. I knew
Clarissa wanted to, but there were always crowds
about, to dampen our intimate moment. So
I suggested we took a stroll in the park. After
school it would be deserted. We waved goodbyes
to Clarissa’s friends, and I chained my bike to
the swings. There was a grove of hoary oaks
across the field. That was the place. I dragged
Clarissa’s arm, until we were running and giggling.
Clarissa’s high cheekbones glowed. The time was
simply perfect.


Author: Robert James Berry

Poet & Novelist