The Night I Wrote My First Poem

The Night I Wrote My First Poem by May Lafer-Kirtner - Photo by Hannah Rubenstein


The night I wrote my first poem
Was the same night I had my heart broken
The first time.
And when I look back at it,
I can’t help but marvel at how two things,
So different,
And so meaningful,
Could have happened on the same eve.
That night,
As bits and pieces of my childhood broke away,
Revealing layers much deeper,
I sat in a jostling car,
Pink butterfly diary in hand.
And I let the grief seep out of me
Onto the page.
And I felt something buried
Deep inside my chest,
This love,
This hope,
For the words I had yet to write.
That first poem,
Those lines scribbled in fear and love,
Were the start of me.
Verse and phrase,
One line below the next.
Keep moving,
Keep writing.

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May Lafer-Kirtner is a member of the class of 2024 at South Eugene High School in Eugene, Oregon. She has been writing all her life, and after graduating, hopes to become a reporter and a novelist. After having a hard time in middle school, she started writing poetry and stories as an outlet for all of her most intense emotions—about friends, death, her chronic illness, and mental health struggles. She started trying to get published after reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower, because she hoped to remind other people they weren’t all alone.
Accompanying photo: “Film Car” by Hannah Rubenstein