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Posts Tagged ‘coming of age’

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It’s been 50 years. This is a collage of my memories from “The Summer of Love”, 1967.

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Falling from the prom

first love stuck

to the seat of the car

till Beach Boy good vibes

lit my quarter-carat ring

as it snagged on my impatience

and scratched at your freedom

and one rainy Monday Monday

in a miscarriage of spring

you returned it to the jeweler

who confessed the stone was flawed.

~

Ten stairs down

in a choke-filled, red-eye cave

we found a collage

of wine-bottle candles

and short black beards

where daddy-o played chess

and argued on absolute bongos,

and espresso-laced poets

beat cement floor philosophy,

and black leotards

on bar stools sang

in dilettante protest

till someone spun Baez

and laughed

when I just ordered tea.

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No cooking in rooms,

we ate pop-tarts cold,

connected the dots

in philosophy

pretending to like home-made beer

and the rain fell

on Glen Yarborough

and we knew the war

wasn’t over

but Camus didn’t care

and Nietzsche’s God was dead

so we slid brown leaves

to the A & W

and waited for mail

from home.

~

It began in May,

that shoeless summer,

long hair hung low

between hot bikini tans,

salt water steamed

from our backs,

eyelashes and dimples

crossed the railroad tracks;

there were lines

and moves,

and always forget-me-nots

growing from our cleavage.

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He followed me

to green music nights

to deep-lidded eyes

in bell-bottom mirrors

where we listened to Dylan

and danced to the Doors

and slid down the hill

playing and laughing

between tangled hair

and a purple-beaded dawn.

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House-mother asleep

I slipped with you

in the bark-soft rain

up waterfalls

to your winking lake

where you wet my lips,

St. Christopher pressing

into my breast

and the red canoe

rocked over the edge,

smiling at

tomorrow’s raised brows.

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He said he liked

the way I walked,

sang Dean Martin

with his motorcycle cocked

till I went with him

to Sehome Hill

and he stopped being Dean

and the meadow grew thorns

as he twisted my slap

grinding into the shock

knowing I’d never tell,

for back then

women blamed themselves.

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Overheating,

your ‘59 Fairlane

got us there

to cruise Birch Bay

and puzzle over

the Ode to Billy Joe

and we answered yes

to Gracie Slick

while smokey sunsets

stopped the show

and you held your stomach in

as we laughed

across a Sunday-funny dream.

~

We rode the night

on magic carpet street signs

where Joni sang hair-flowers

and headband crochet,

and the Taco Time spilled

and stuck to bare legs

as I felt your jacket comfort

in Sergeant Pepper incense

and the pull

of your blue-light eyes.

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© 1993, 2017 Betty Hayes Albright

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1967 was a watershed year, a time of great change for many of us – personally, socially, politically, and spiritually. These memories took place in Seattle and Bellingham, Washington. It was a long, hot summer…..

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(a re-post)


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They accelerate

to new heights

I can’t comprehend,

fly where I’ve never been

leaving behind

dangling apron strings

unhuggable contrails

in the sky.

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They return

weeks later

circling

my head

landing

on new ground

taller now

with hugs

stronger than mine.

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©  1986, 2017  Betty Hayes Albright

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Written in 1986 when my sons

(teenagers at the time) flew to Oklahoma

to work on my uncle’s farm.

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