Vin Maskell
Point Lonsdale, New Year’s Eve party, 1976


First Kiss

I remember the place and the time but not the song

Her eyes and her lips but not the tune

Her tongue and her taste but not the chords

Her hair and her face but not the words


There must have been music. It was New Year’s Eve.


I knew her from table-tennis, of all things

Admired her game. Her composure

Red shirt, navy blue pleated skirt

Hair tidy in pigtails

Tongue pushing through her lips

In determination

In concentration


Too nervous, too scared, too shy to ask her out

The closest I came

Was a doubles pairing

At a regional championship

Where we talked tactics between points

Whispered secrets

“Try your back-spin serve.”


I remember the corner of a crowded room

Her hair free, her eyes blue

Her tongue touching my chaste lips

Pushing through


I’d dreamed of the girl

But I wasn’t ready for the woman


And then

In a moment

The time it takes

To breathe out

She was gone

Into the maelstrom of the party

Looking for a man not a boy


I remember the place and the time but not the song

Vin is founding editor of Stereo Stories and director/MC of Stereo Stories In Concert.