Half pity half smirk,
Like sympathy, cringing and
Glee all at once.
I recognized that look, maybe
Gave it to someone sometime
Myself, but tonight I was the
Target of derision; “Just kidding,”
He said of course, after insinuating
I was not acting my age or regressing
To some teenage former life. He
Mostly likes me, I think, not one to
Put me down, but there it was.
And I was struck with a hint of
shame, or something close to it, in
My smudged jeans and t-shirt, the
Swept back unkempt hair, and
Stained sneakers, and this place, I
Know I need to let go of, just take
That leap, brave the chance of more.
Uncertainty: this sudden pride, I lost
Not long ago and never missed til now,
not even noticing its disappearance,
Undeserving and unwarranted, so now
After tonight’s blush–pride–have
I fallen backward or forward?