When I was in high school, I had a multi-year crush on a painfully cute boy named Ryan Jellot. He had a skater haircut and went to the local Catholic boys high school. I saw him throughout the school year at dances and other school functions and spent a week with him every summer at camp. With every cheesy campfire song and burnt marshmallow, I fell even more in love with him. Like heart-stuck-in-a-vice-clamp kind of love. My chest still constricts a little thinking about him.
One night my senior year, my parents went out of town for the weekend, and my brother and I had a few friends over for underage drinking age-appropriate activities. As luck would have it, Ryan came to our party. Long story short, I hooked up with him that night. Not like hooked up, but Catholic High School girl hooked up. (“I did not have sexual relations with that man… Mr. Jellot.”) Given the extent and voracity of my love for him, this was a dream come true for me. I was ready to pick out china, walk down the aisle, and start making babies with him. Unfortunately for me, it was just a casual thing for Ryan.
After the party, I didn’t hear back from Ryan. I don’t remember if I actually called him or not (which might have helped), but I was emotionally paralyzed and utterly shattered at his rejection. What does a 17-year-old do when her heart is smashed into a thousand tiny shards of glass? She sends anonymous poetry to the object of her stalking affection. Really bad, cringe-worthy, anonymous poetry. I used the same grey stationary for each letter. And the same black felt-tipped pen. And the same it-might-make-me-laugh-if-it-didn’t-make-me-so-ashamed bad poetry. No, I’m kidding—it just makes me laugh.
I mailed him this crap for months. MONTHS. No return address. Just the horrid poems—all unsigned. I lost track of how many letters I actually sent him. I couldn’t see straight. My tortured soul screamed out for justice—it needed to be heard. My pain was raw, desperate, and unrelenting. My spirit was curled up in the fetal position in the corner, slowly suffocating. Totally benumbed and forever damaged. Until I met another boy. Then I was fine. And the anonymous poetry stopped.
Anyhow, I recently came across one of my journals with said bad poetry in it. And I had a really good laugh. I decided I need that kind of laugh at least once a week. So in that spirit, I hereby create Bad Poetry Thursday. Now, I may or may not actually do this every week. (Let’s be honest—I’m lazy.) It may be an old poem or one that I’ve recently written. It might be mine—it could even be yours. I don’t like rules. But I love cheesy poetry.
So here’s the first—in three parts. I officially dedicate this bad poem to Unrequited Teenage Love.
You’ll never know…
You’ll never know the pain.
You’ll never know my love.
You’ll never see me cry.
You’ll never say, “She’s mine.”
You’ll never feel me by your side.
You’ll never know.
I write knowing I will
never receive an answer.
I send knowing I will
never receive a response.
I confide knowing I will
never receive a reaction.
And I love knowing I will
never receive in return.
But still my heart lingers on…
I could be crying,
but you would not see the tear.
I could be around you,
but you would not know I’m here.
I am with you
though you may not feel me.
I reveal myself in ways
for only you to see.
I really care… I do.
Me? You will never know who.
Except, guess what? He knew. He totally knew.