The Date (based on true events in the spring of '94)

An American professor
raising his daughters in France
returns to a California classroom
where first I sit under his tutelage
then at his dinner table
with wine & cheese.

I hoard the courage
to ask out his eldest,
she of the long hair, dazzling eyes,
and deaf. She reads lips and
the whole family uses a French method,
they explain,
of expressing vowels with fingers-on-chin.
I sit fascinated.

In a candle-lit restaurant
her eyes are locked on my lips.
I enunciate carefully.
My visions of being her protector
evaporate before her confidence.
Her fierce intelligence is intoxicating
and, admittedly, a bit intimidating.

I regret to say
I never asked her out again.
I was deaf to her potential,
silent in my insecurity,
the magic of the evening
seared in memory.

© 2017 Jon Andreas. All rights reserved. Written July 2017