The Beast

 I thought I’d offer up something on the lighter side this week. The following poem is a work of fiction–sort of. It is all too real in concept for most guys who have ever stood on the porch and rang the bell for their first date. Most of us lived some form of this frightening-at-the-time, but funny-when-it-was-over situation. I hope you enjoy it!

The Beast

On the stoop, corsage in hand

I stand, feeling quite confounded

Mind and feet conspire to run

Too late, for the bell I’ve sounded


Doors swings open, a giant

Glares from behind the screen

Beer in one hand, gun in the other

A visage, angry and mean


Mouth zaps dry, knee joints weaken

I ask is young Sherry there

A growl from deep within the beast

“Yeah… she’s fixin’ her hair”


Suddenly, she’s there beside him

A vision with sparkling eyes

My strength returns, I look back at him

And find to my great surprise


The beverage gone, the pistol, too

A handsome man smiles back at me

Opens the door, says, “Have fun, kids

Drive safe, and late don’t be”


I escort my vision of loveliness

To the chariot I’ve left by the gate

Thankful the worst is over

On this, my very first date


Copyright  © 1998 C. Mashburn


Posted in Promising Poets Parking Lot’s Thursday Poets’ Rally Week 57



  1. I escort my vision of loveliness

    To the chariot I’ve left by the gate

    Thankful the worst is over

    On this, my very first date

    fiction, yet revealing, stunning imagery, thanks for sharing.
    Happy Rally.

  2. Love it ~~ first dates can be very scary … but “you” endured through the courage of ringing the bell … and rewarded with escorting my vision of loveliness

  3. Haha… I bet it does seem that daunting for some youngsters on their first date too. A lovely tale, well told , thanks for the smile:)

    • I can remember some where it felt very similar to this! Thanks for the visit and comments, Daydreamer!

  4. shoelessboywonder said

    Well I’ve been there myself a few years back so i understand where this whole tail is coming from. You did well to describe the contrast between fear of an imagination running and the actualization of reality. good work.

    • Yep! There were times where it seemed a beast had, indeed, answered the door! Thanks for the comments!

  5. poetryroad said

    This is truly charming! A fresh look at the first date!

  6. Sherry Mashburn said

    AW! So sweet and funny . . .

  7. ha ha …very first date…. would’ve scared me off forevermore.

    great rhythm and rhyme, and the story is humorous.

    I laugh…still chuckling.

    thanks for sharing.

  8. I love it 🙂 Beautifully written and not just dates! Even regular guy friends can feel they’re facing that at times.

  9. Quite delightful. Good emotion.

  10. Andy said

    Hello.’s funny how so much of this is actually true. Brings back memories of the 1001 questions like how old are you, what do you do, do you have any kids, who’s your dentist…lol
    Nicely portrayed Charles.
    Thanks for sharing & visiting. Your comment was lovely. Much appreciated.


  11. Very well captured emotions as many of us can remember. I also remember a few years back as my daughter was growing up and I got to be the beast.

  12. Jo Bryant said

    I think you captured perfectly the moment – and we have all had those types of moments.

  13. The beauty and the beast…a different version. Being the beast is such fun.
    “Go on and have your fun, while I just sit here cleaning my gun.”
    “Have that questionaire filled out, yes, all two hundred questions. I know they’re essay questions. Just knock yourself out doing the best you can. Yeah, that pager is important. Answer within five minutes so me and the boys don’t have to go looking for you. I don’t care if you are going to church. Just get her back early and nobody gets hurt. Oh, her Aunt will be riding with you, being it’s a first date. She’ll be talking all the time so you won’t be bored. Have fun!

    • I didn’t think of it from the “beauty and the beast” perspective!
      Awesome comments, Dan!

  14. Oh man, the doorbell triggers those few seconds of terror when all of your pre-planned conversations fly out of your mind. You just have to face looking like an idiot sometimes 😛

    • Or, you stand there trying to look cool, and he lets you know you are absolutely not cool… with nothing but a grin.

  15. Alcina said

    Ah! Simply beautiful
    I like your first date 🙂

    Alcina-In need of me-2

  16. indeed a lovely 🙂 we all have that nervousness on first date 🙂 and meeting parents on first date i can imagine 🙂

  17. terri0729 said

    LOL! Great, marvelous, funny poem! Loved it Charlie. Was Sherry’s dad really that scary? Mine could be with his deep growly voice – big teddy bear 🙂 Peace, love and blessings, Terri

    • Thank you, Terri! I wouldn’t know; Sherry and I met in our forties. I can imagine he might have been though. Much like your dad, James King could be intimidating, but he was a big ol’ lovable teddy bear.

  18. passinate humor.
    well fine tuned writing.

  19. Awwww! This is so sweet and adorable!

    Yeah, I guess everyone’s father is scary the first time you meet him, huh?

  20. Jennifaye said

    Sweet and lovely. This poem made me smile 🙂

    • I’m glad I could make you smile! Thanks for the visit and comments, Jennifer!

  21. jmdh said

    I remember my 1st one, I recon I was bout 3 or 4 . It had to be my mom cuz every where she went I got to go with her !

  22. Emma said

    he he…you’ve captured it precisely…it’s funny how we interpret those moments when we are younger…your rhyme scheme works nicely to add to the light-heartedness of the piece…enjoyed this 🙂

  23. Annette said

    That is what it feels like, isn’t it!

  24. Old Raven said

    Young man … you never cease to amaze! With delight.

  25. dsnake1 said

    there’s nothing like a charming story to cheer me up after a bad day in the office. 🙂

    i love the rhyme scheme. brilliant!

  26. Purvi said

    The end was such a surprise.. really engrossing words!

  27. Reilley said

    This brought back some memories, well done!

  28. I like this and enjoyed reading it. It’s witty but can relate to someone’s real experience. I wonder if in fear the young man imagined the gun and beer, or the father did have the gun and beer( as a warning), but put it way after his daughter showed up.

    • It’s strictly meant to be a figment of the young lad’s imagination, due to his nervousness. I suppose there are dad’s that would answer the door like that. Just to frighten the kid!
      Thanks for the comment!

  29. marit said

    charming! helps me understand what it’s like 🙂

  30. magher1 said

    Playful words! Feels so innocent as the first love 🙂

  31. This is why I tried to spare my dates the burden of meeting my father…..because on second look he is worse than on the first.

    Love your work!

    • That must have made you very popular!
      Thanks for the comments, Sherrie!
      And, as you know, I am a very big fan of your work!

  32. Miss Kitten said

    Fantastic, Charles! I loved the image of the father greeting his daughter’s date at the door with a shotgun. Now I have an idea of what it must be like to be on the other side of the door.

    Here’s my rally piece this week:

    • It can be quite terrifying for a young lad!
      Thanks for the visit and comments, Miss Kitten!

  33. Heaven said

    I enjoyed the humor and sentimental words…what a memorable first date ~

  34. Fabulous stuff–I love the light side of your work! Thanks for sharing this one for the rally–and for your feedback and good wishes on my post and upcoming reading.

  35. This a sweet poem that can be so true! Glad you stopped by my blog!

  36. Kay Salady said

    This is lovely Charles! As I reminisce, I can recall my Daddy calling one of my dates a walrus, due to the fact that he wore a handlebar mustache.

    • I think my first dates’ dad probably had colorful names for me. I know walrus wasn’t among them though, because I was skinny as a raail and couldn’t grow a moustached until I was in my twenties!
      Thanks for the visit and comment, Kay!

  37. Charles, having gone through all of high school dateless, I can nonetheless catch that first impression, reflecting your nervousness. Ah, the terror of those teen years! Loved this write, and found you via your link at Cello Strings. Have read you before, and this is just wonderful! Amy Barlow Liberatore

  38. saya said

    Amazing and funny.. I haven’t yet experienced the first date. After reading those lines now will curiously wait for my first date..
    Beautifully carved..

    Thanks for d visit 🙂

  39. This makes me want to cry for the beauty of young love! I love how you’ve told it almost as if it were a fairytale of old. Bravo, Charles!!! Love it!

  40. oh this is sweet and fun…you were able to capture the excitement and anticipation of a first date so well……thanks for sharing

  41. Great fun reading about your first date. Wonder what’s the lady’s point of view would be…

  42. I like how it got me going and then in the end…what a twist and a turn! How the imagination can take us for a ride. Nice write!

    • My imagination takes me on some wild rides, that’s for sure! Thank you for the visit and comment!

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