That First Minute
That first minute. How you want it
To last forever. Or to disappear.
It holds so much: a first impression
That never quite abandons you.
As joyful as a meadow full of flowers.
Or as painful as a loss for words
You discover later and wish you had used.
Everything collects in that first minute.
The seductive sound of a strange language,
Meaning just beyond the edge of your brain.
Smells that fix a unique place,
Which, as they touch your senses again,
Put you instantly back there once more.
Later you live with special people
And life gifts you other pleasures.
But those first minutes have a grip on you.
They are index, catalogue and cheat sheet
Our first and most-used references.
I don’t remember all of them all all the time,
But they’re there to refresh me,
Quietly waiting their turn in memory.
Charles B. Neff