Once I Was Juliet
by Alarie Tennille

I was skeptical of those movie
scenes where the librarian slips
off her glasses and the leading man
realizes she’s gorgeous. Yet I went
from invisible to pursued in just that way.
Goodbye, glasses. Hello, men. Lots
of men — about thirty five for each
first coed at my college.

Suddenly I reminded them of Zeffirelli’s
Juliet. A stranger hummed “A Time for Us”
to me in the cafeteria. A nice romantic
interlude among the catcalls, curses,
and variations on we don’t want
you here.

Now when I hear that theme,
I’m eighteen again, looking like Juliet.
Feeling like Joan of Arc.

PHOTO: The author at 18 and about to leave for college. Her Romeo at the time took the photo.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Alarie Tennille was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Virginia in the first class admitting women. She misses the ocean, but loves the writing community she’s found in Kansas City, Missouri. Alarie serves on the Emeritus Board of The Writers Place. She’s the author of a poetry collection, Running Counterclockwise and a chapbook,Spiraling into Control. Alarie’s poems have appeared in numerous journals including Margie, Poetry East, I-70 Review, Midwest Quarterly Review, Wild Goose Poetry Review, and Southern Women’s Review. Visit her at alariepoet.com.

ABOUT THE MUSIC: “A Time for Us” was the theme song of the 1968 film Romeo & Juliet. Listen here.