Equus or, First Night
by Laura Foley

A group of twelve
from a fancy high school,
on a birthday outing for one of us,
daughter of a slain Kennedy.
We sit together, watching a teenage boy
romping onstage like a horse,
my first sight of a naked man
we cap off with piña coladas
at Trader Vic’s,
eluding Secret Service agents,
hailing taxis in the street —
I hop, buoyant, in my trusty sneakers,
among this loose group of friends,
harboring a secret crush
on one of them.
At his house, emboldened
by my first taste of rum,
or strangeness of the play,
or the famous company,
I reach for him and
in the morning we
eat cereal with his mom,
while the bells of St. Thomas More
remind me it’s Sunday,
and nothing has changed
and everything has changed.

SOURCE: “Equus, or First Night” appears in the author’s collection Night Ringing (Headmistress Press, 2016).

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My yearbook photo, age 17, at Concord Academy (Concord, Massachusetts).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this poem recently, a memory of my “first time.” It was an eventful experience, in more ways than one. Caroline Kennedy was my classmate in high school, and for her seventeenth birthday party, a group of us went to see the Broadway play Equus.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laura Foley’s books include Night Ringing (Headmistress Press, 2016), Joy Street (Headmistress Press, 2014) and The Glass Tree (Harbor Mountain Press, 2012). She won the 2016 Common Good Books poetry contest, judged by Garrison Keillor, and the 2016 Joe Gouveia Outermost Poetry Contest, judged by Marge Piercy. Visit her at