All Wide-eyed and Loving Me

Claudia has the evening shift at the dVerse Poets Pub tonight, hosting Poetics: Fun Fair and has invited us to write about the fair. You know, the one with all the rides and booths and good stuff to eat. So, naturally, I took a trip back in time and came up with the following. I hope you enjoy it!

All Wide-eyed and Loving Me


I was eleven and knew I liked girls

But wasn’t sure why

I’d heard all the stories about love

“Went” with lots of girls

For two or three weeks at a time

Even kissed a few; maybe four

And that was the real deal

Scary though


I couldn’t figure it out

How something so exciting

Could be so utterly terrifying

But sometimes it was



All I could think about

Was kissing another girl

Maybe even falling in love

That would be the bomb


Then along came Boom Boom

And that song about some park

Someplace I’d never been

Saying how great a kiss could feel

Stopped at the top of the ferris wheel


I had to do it


So I laid my plans

Got up the courage

Asked her to ride with me

At the fall carnival

Praying the wheel would stop

With us at the top

So I could make my move


A bundle of nerves

Not saying a word

Feeling her staring at me

All wide-eyed and loving me

I just knew it


Then the wheel slowed

I gripped the bar and closed my eyes

And when we stopped

The car gently rocked

A cool breeze on my hot face

I felt like I was gonna be sick


But that wasn’t what did it

I think it was the corn dogs

Or maybe the cotton candy

Or maybe I was just scared of falling

In love

Before I was twelve


I decided not to kiss her


Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn

When I saw Claudia’s prompt, a song started playing in my head. Then this poem came rushing out, and sadly, it’s pretty much true. The song I refer to was called Palisades Park, and was first done in 1962 by Billy “Boom Boom” Cannon. It was one of those accidents; flip side of a song they thought would be a hit that got played by accident, then went to #3 on the charts. I hope you enjoyed my little ride on the ferris wheel!


  1. Mary said

    Charles, the youthful innocence in this poem made me smile. I’d say it was probably going on the ferris wheel after eating corn dogs. Fun memory to look back on though, I am sure…and there WAS plenty of time to fall in love!

  2. Sherry Mashburn said

    Awww . . . .

  3. haha probably a good thing if you were feeling sick…that would have made an impression you may never have gotten over….but romance at the top of the wheel gotta love that and that is what love felt like back in those days too…ha we were so young and dumb…lol…good piece man…

  4. hedgewitch said

    Probably the right decision at the time, Charles, considering the stomach and all. Loved this–very real feel for that very awkward but exciting time before things actually get real.

    • The decision was made out of fear (which was the probable cause of the stomach situation). Those things seemed to happen daily back in those days. Girls were scary!
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  5. zongrik said

    cute story. nothing is scarier than falling in love and getting rejected.

    /roller coaster of dysfunction

    • That was the big fear on those days (and several decades later as well); rejection.
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  6. Cute and you decided not to kiss her. Go back up there and do it ;))!!!

  7. claudia said

    oh i enjoyed the ride a lot…what a lovely story…a bit sad that you didn’t kiss her…bet she thought or hoped you would…smiles..

    • She probably did, but I was so shy at thaat age, I figured she didn’t, and didn’t want to risk it. Silly kid.
      Thanks for the visit and comment, Claudia!

  8. Ha ha …. great build up leading to fine last stanza and the crunch line. Good work

  9. Nice share…I was right there with you on the seat, waiting for it ~

    Happy Sunday ~

  10. Awww…. I bet you sure made up for not kissing her after that though. The innocence in this is so lovely! Exciting, the thrills of the first interest and stirrings of young love 🙂

    • No telling what I did after that! I was a shy little fella back then. Most of the exciting stuff was all in my head!
      Thanks for the nice comment, Daydreamer!

  11. This is so sweet, a great description of what love was like before all the adult pressures and expectations set in.

    • You mean that reality thing I’ve always heard about??
      Thanks for the visit and comment, Mary!

  12. I loved this…. You rocked 🙂

  13. Hi Charles – agree with Hedge that it was probably right decision at the time – there are times when anticipation is all–Hard to say though! Very sweet poem. K.

    • If I could’ve bottled all the anticipation from those years, it would be worth a fortune today. Kind of like all those old baseball cards my dad threw away.
      Thanks for the visit and comment, K!

  14. shanyns said

    This is very good, nerves bundled up and then add in a girl – you have a very good story here! Nicely done.

  15. What a wonderful collection of memories Charles, sweet nostalgia, you have a way of doing that with heaps of personality to bring it to life.

  16. Laurie Kolp said

    So sweet, those innocent childhood crushes. Glad you didn’t get sick on her, though.

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