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In Sight of Home by Nessa O'Mahony

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My first love?

O Mahony, Nessa

My first love? 
Since you ask, William Powell
in the Thin Man.

His wisecracks were
the epitome of style, I’d insist
my future man must share his wit.

No dark masters for me;
I scorned my schoolmates’ whims
for Darcy or Rochester.

My grandmother said
“For every old sock an old shoe”
and I knew there was one to fit. 

Years passed;
I watched my friends pair off,
had vodka-fuelled chats

about what signals
I was sending out
(or wasn’t).

Then I fell for the first time
(if you don’t count the boy who fenced
and turned out to be gay)

for a beautiful youth,
all gangling limbs and joints that cracked,
eyes like melted Bournville.

But he wouldn’t be untrue
to his college sweetheart and by now
I could do platonic pretty well.

My specialist subject
to be the confidante
to a variety of males.

Then sex appeared in the guise
of a curly-haired satyr
who made it look so easy,

gave me a taste for Sundays in bed
and moonlight dances
and doing it on beaches.

My mistake was to think
it would out-last
the novelty.

But I was finally launched,
could look my friends in the eye,
trade stories about male perfidy.

The pattern was set,
the search and find, the rescue
when it all went wrong,

as it always did.
There was no other way, the happy ones
were just fooling themselves.

When my father stopped asking had I met
anyone I cared for more than myself,
I knew my fate was set.

Recorded for Reproduced here with thanks.

Copyright Nessa O'Mahony 2009

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