Interpretations of the Heart

By William Ogden Haynes

She drew a heart
and inside wrote her initials
and those of Jeremy Foster
coupled with a plus sign.

When she was done, Nancy Zimmerman
sat on the curb thinking.
It was five.
Five grades since kindergarten
they had occupied adjacent desks.
She had been in love
with Jeremy for years.
Of course, Jeremy didn’t know
he loved her too because he was a boy.
But Nancy knew and that
was all that counted.
She could tell by the way
he picked up her pencil
when she dropped it in class
and how he smiled at her
across the lunch room.
Once, when Roger Anderson
pulled her hair,
Jeremy pushed him so hard
he cut his head on a locker.

So now it was time
for everyone to know
they belonged to each other
always and forever.
But when Jeremy walked up
to the edge of the sidewalk
and saw her artwork,
he left his footprint
in the wet cement
obliterating the heart
and he never sat next
to her again.


William Ogden Haynes is a poet and author of short fiction from Alabama who was born in Michigan and grew up a military brat.  His first book of poetry entitled Points of Interest appeared in 2012 and a second collection of poetry and short stories Uncommon Pursuits was published in 2013.  Both are available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.  He has also published over sixty poems and short stories in literary journals and his work has been anthologized multiple times.

Comments are closed.