Senior Portraits

October 13, 2008
By Justina Passarelli, Yonkers, NY

I’ll never forget the way
he tenderly pushed back tendrils of my hair,
his finger tips slightly grazing my shoulders,
a sensation so light and so powerful
I thought I’d imagined it.
I’ll never forget how he looked at me;
like I was the prettiest thing he’d ever seen.
He walked around me, examining me from every angle,
gazing upon a beauty I almost felt I actually possessed.
He stared with such concentration and such awe
I thought myself a work of art, if only for a moment.
Gently guiding my every movement with his eyes,
I felt safe, secure, wanted.
I knew not his name or his history,
all I knew was how he made me feel, and that was enough.
When he spoke, the only words uttered
were that of encouragement.
He forced me, not only with his gaze but his voice,
to believe I was pretty.
In fact, he made me say those words aloud,
those two words I so long wished
I could utter with genuine belief in them-
“I’m pretty”.
But the irony of the statement converged
with the painful desire for it’s truth,
and produced a tear so full of meaning and woe
I almost excused myself for shedding it.
A quick wipe away and it was gone.
One more flash of light, and he was gone.
One step out the door, and the feeling was gone.
Gone, gone, gone.

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