Pagosa Springs Artists

Losing Innocence


I was in fourth grade.  She was
  the prettiest girl in class.  Tall,
  athletic, friendly.  Her curly
  head, tousled like mine but blonde
  not black, had no interest in math.

  During the first wave of spring,
  she invited me to shoot baskets
  off her garage wall after school.
  Again. And again. Dad picked
  me up after work and we drove
  home to the country in late light.

  Mom said it was okay to invite her
  over to my house the next Saturday.
  I showed her around our tree-filled
  country acres. We clambered up to
   my tree fort, and under the tangle
   of bushes housing several hideouts.
   Shot baskets for an hour. Finally
   headed inside to get a cool drink.

   She slipped off her shoes at the door
     revealing elegant feet for an athlete.
   Mom gave us glasses of lemonade
   and Christy gushed,  I love it here! 
   I never want to leave!  So I gave her
   my school photo off the hall wall. Too
   soon, her father arrived to drive her home.

   On Monday, she appeared at my locker
   with a grim look.  My parents said
   I couldn’t be your friend anymore
   she mumbled as she handed back
   my bent -over photo.  I’m sorry
  were the last words she ever spoke to me.

  Deep in the night, I crept to their darkened beds
  and reached, only once, for each set of sisters’ feet.
  My fetish for female feet secretly grew, leading
  to teen sex, to leaving home in my senior year, and
  to failed relationships with other teen-somethings
  despite a ten-year marriage and two kids of my own. 
  A fetish that led me, eventually, to felony probation,
  another conviction, and now, prison.



first published in BEHIND PRISON WALLS Chapbook

©2011 Bonnie Manion


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