I call them my "apple blossom dreams."
The dreams began with a gift from a friend, Wallace Mills, the brother of a classmate, when I was 16. The gift was a small book of English poetry, which set off the metronome in my mind and launched my poetry-writing career.
Sixty-four years ago, when I was a high school sophomore, my friend Louise and I took our lunches and notebooks to an apple orchard adjacent to Soddy-Daisy (Tenn.) High School, and as apple blossoms cascaded about us, we dreamed glorious (and grandiose) dreams of literary futures as we pencilled our first poems in notebooks with marbleized cardboard covers.
Louise and I parted ways after high school. She was a highly intelligent, sensitive girl, but her life went down in waste because of mental illness. She was institutionalized.