First kiss

As you know, dear reader, much of my writing these past few years has been through the prism of Stereo Stories and the notion of a song, a place, a time. You also know that, come summer, I somehow fall back into poetry…


First Kiss

Point Lonsdale, New Year’s Eve party, 1976


I remember the place and the time but not the song

Her eyes and her lips but not the tune

Her tongue and her taste but not the chords

Her hair and her face but not the words


There must have been music. It was New Year’s Eve.


I knew her from table-tennis, of all things

Admired her game. Her composure

Red shirt, navy blue pleated skirt

Hair tidy in pigtails

Tongue pushing through her lips

In determination

In concentration


Too nervous, too scared, too shy to ask her out

The closest I came

Was a doubles pairing

At a regional championship

Where we talked tactics between points

Whispered secrets

“Try your back-spin serve.”


I remember the corner of a crowded room

Her hair free, her eyes blue

Her tongue touching my chaste lips

Pushing through


I’d dreamed of the girl

But I wasn’t ready for the woman


And then

In a moment

The time it takes

To breathe out

She was gone

Into the maelstrom of the party

Looking for a man not a boy


I remember the place and the time but not the song




  1. Remembering the yearning and confusion of my own early years and feeling relieved to be at this end of life where things aren’t so all-consuming and complicated. A thoughtful piece, as we head towards the end of another crazy year – thanks Vin…

    • Thank you Angela. I’ll accept your reference to ping pong, rather than honourable sport of table tennis in the spirit of your enthusiasm.(I also popped this story on the Stero Stories website. You never know, it might turn up at the Lit Fest.) Cheers.

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