Blushing cheeks and fluttered lashes,
cotton frocks with satin sashes.
That first dance, paired with a boy,
equal parts of fear and joy.
Sweaty palms and faltering feet.
A different style, each boy you meet.
Shyness, then––a major dose.
Terror he’ll hold you too close,
then, affronted when he doesn’t.
Wrong when he was and when he wasn’t
romantic in that pre-teen way,
as forward as that time of day
permitted, with your parents there.
Beaded foreheads, scraggly hair.
School dances never missed.
Holding hands, but never kissed.
Except one time, when cheek-to-cheek,
that butterfly kiss, furtive and meek.
Eyes met for just a moment, then,
to celebrate your mutual sin.
Oh the terrors and the joys
Of school dances and touching boys!