Little Gigantic Thing

My first romance
rode a painted horse
called “Beauty.”

She was cute,
precious beyond measure,

beyond time,
for she is always there,
freckled and fiery red-haired,
kicking the flanks of Beauty;
she gallops in youth’s eternal moment.

I am under the spell of whatever it is,
that little thing,
which is gigantic,
that runs away with us spirit and body
to bring back the generations.

I see nothing in memory but a painted horse,
driven and ridden by a girl aflame.
I have just presented her
with a “Friendship Ring,”
purchased for cheap
in Chapin Company’s dry goods section.

I delayed the offering for weeks,
in anxious anticipation
of her possible refusal to accept the ring,
practicing what I would say
before opening my hand,
as though I held a universe,
the ring of time,
before the Big Bang.

She was the light
the first of my heart’s career.

She ran away with the ring
at full gallop
on Beauty,
in the glow of the past forever,
love complete.