Sunday, April 1, 2012


High school dating
Rigid, mute with
Fear of doesn't-matter-what
Utterly the worst me I could be

Normally I have
A little bit of humor
Wit and banter
Kind attention to my partner's
State of mind
Ability to laugh, shake off a moment's
Put the conversation
Back on track
Firmly set the terms of this

All frozen, vanished, fled

Just like competition

In the Salle, at practice, I’m
At ease,
With confidence that I won't
Look the fool
I make my moves and
No big deal of
Casual seductions
After all,
Hooking up to fence is
No big deal

At the venue, all that flees and I revert to
Tongue-tied teen,
Too bashful to converse, all
Elbows, knees and awkward feet, undone by
Fatal hesitation
Unable to rebuff
Unwelcome overtures
Rough touch, aggressive

When will the modicum of wisdom
Ease and
Social grace I've learned through bitter practice--
Forty years of polishing the edge--
Transpond to my blade?
When will I have confidence to
Set the terms of these
Speed-dating bouts, and
Longer flirting dances,
When will I
Choose yes, or no
Say now, or then

I guess I need a bit more practice
One year more, or two
Or ten
A dummies guide, a little coaching in
Perhaps a nip to
Lower inhibitions

So I can get back in the game

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