First Impressions

by Grace Hertzler

This evening, I reflect with strange and gnawing sadness,
and long to kick those sticky things called first impressions,
far off the gravelly road that we traverse.
They cling to the tramping soles of my companion,
like sun-scorched tar.
I cannot fault this friend. This stuff is simply that which
she has naturally accumulated.

I sense her unbelief.
My uttered views scrape vainly
at her clumps of observations.
Someday perhaps she’ll tread along
a grassy path, and let the truth, like dew, brush off her shoes.

And maybe she will even grow annoyed at unsoiled footwear
hindering her hike; and free her leather-laden feet
to dance with me through wildflowers.
She just might pluck a buttercup, and place it in my hand.

This ache would dissipate,
for she, at last, would understand—
not who she thought I was,
but who I am.


Grace Hertzler delights in whippoorwills, woodsmoke, and syncopation.


Photography by Kenneth Godoy

3 thoughts on “Grace Hertzler: First Impressions”

  1. The hankering rings true. “For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known.” That’ll be the day!

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