#SOL15: Day 9, String the Firsts

Last Saturday, I listened to Andre Gregory of My Dinner With Andre fame on the Moth Radio Hour. He speaks of his first love. Of embracing firsts, because nothing can match the intensity of a first.  His story is perfection.

We ask our students to write about firsts. It’s a gathering strategy that results in lots of the first day of school and first scary amusement park ride small moment stories. I’ve used this with students, but never for myself.

Today as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge, I dared to try a first.

Prose was overwhelming. My descriptive powers were too weak; the intensity of the moment too big. Perhaps it was that I wanted it to remain in that mythical land of “firsts.”

Poetry surfaced and took me on a different path.


String the Firsts

Day of Kindergarten. Graduation.

Kiss. Breakup.

Exploring on you own. Finding your home.

Embrace. Release.

Bitter and sweet.  

Euphoria and panic.

Possibility and promise.

String the firsts.

Unforgettable, side by side.

Golden moments held out.


is it in the moments,

in the filament,

in between.

String the firsts.




Thanks to Anna, Beth, Betsy, Dana, Stacey and Tara of Two Writing Teachers blog for hosting the Slice of Life March Story Challenge. Read other bloggers slices here.









18 thoughts on “#SOL15: Day 9, String the Firsts

  1. I really like the contrast you create between some of the most significant ‘firsts’ in our lives. When our first child was born, my husband constantly told me I was going to drive myself crazy trying not to miss a first anything, but I think as mothers we instinctively appreciate our children’s firsts so that they, too, may grow to find a special meaning to the first time they experience something new. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I loved the line “String the firsts” I wanted to keep seeing it. Great poem, a great idea!

  3. Each word in the seesaw of the text is so simple but yet an entire post could be written about the first. Every reader will be taken to their first with your words as a guide. What a cool poem!

  4. Ah, it’s interesting which firsts hold with a person. Some of these firsts I recall easily, others not so much, but the ones I do remember, I remember deeply – especially within the contrasts. Nicely done! And thanks for the memories, even the ones that made me momentarily grit my teeth.

  5. I had the same idea today, Julieanne, trying to express my self through poetry. So liberating, right? Love that this writing challenge gives us the freedom to try new things.

  6. Does this also mean it’s your ‘first’ poem posted? It seems as if you drifted into it. I love the thought that all those “firsts” build on one another, something to share with my students.

  7. I love that you’ve tried both writing poetry here – and the whole thing of firsts… how many times have I suggested students think of first times to gather ideas for writing. Beautiful post, Julieanne.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s