I squandered my youth searching for love.
Investiture in butch waxed duck tails,
penny loafers, skinny belts, unused condoms,
and a truck load of Juicy Fruit gum.
Rock ‘n roll songs guided our choices.
Elvis and Do-Wop instructed us in love.
Between the Dairy Queen, King Kone, and the
Lion gas station was the promised land. Fifteen cents
a gallon for regular, nickel popcorn, twenty-five cent
Ritz movies, and fifty-cents for a hamburger. What
does this have to do with love, everything. It was
where you cruised to meet your bobby socks Venus.
Love is a learned habit structured by teenage
passion, Teen Town, the Baptist preacher sermon
on Sunday, and a pimple faced young man’s ability
to court. Expectations are high from all those that have
molded your view of beehives, petticoats and falsies.
Love is camouflaged in giggles and ponytails.
It should be noted that at this age there
is no logical definition for love, no
rustic ancient veneration of poetic
expression that surmounts that other four
letter word, lust. The buffaloes are
stampeding, the hormonal hounds are loose.
I remember the first time that magical word
escaped my lips. There was a sweaty pause in
the Old Spice and Evening in Paris scented night,
two wads of gum stuck to the dashboard, the
word hanging there glistening like a dew studded
spiderweb in which you are now trapped.
Growing older allows time to mellow your
reflection on the past choosing practicality
over emotional calamity. The lust is gone, so
is the gum. No minister, pimples or expectations.
Gas is $2.87 a gallon, a burger with fries $5.00.
Now the buffalo are disappearing, the hounds won’t hunt.
Love is the comfort of familiarity, trust, a history,
growing toward middle ground, hoping that you will
wake up in the morning, alive. Love is bringing her
a cup of coffee in bed, a tender smile, a warm touch,
the reassurance that you are needed. Still finding joy
in that glistening dew studded web that gave you wings.
Ahh love! It endures no matter what age, just changed.
© 2010, Donald Harbour
Ahh…this is gorgeous. I feel all warm and fluffy now. A beautiful hommage to love!
Ahh love. It endures no matter what age, just changed. I love this!
Donald this is so true of the love that endures through the ages. What a beautiful poem.
Ahh the evolution of love..I want some of that juicy fruit gum.
Wow, wow, wow. This is amazing. I can see these scenes, feel them and oh, can I smell that Juicy Fruit on your breath as I put on another dab of my Evening in Paris. Oh, where am I, sorry, got lost in the memories. 🙂
It glitters, it strangles, it smothers and entangles! This made me laugh and tingle with joy at the reminder of how love matures.
Shame we’ve lost the art of offering up gum as an icebreaker – bring that back I say!
What a wonderful evocation of love. The last stanza resonated with me. What can I say…? Lovely!
“Still finding joy/in that glistening dew studded web that gave you wings.”
I love this line in particular, and the whole thing is absolutely beautiful. I love how you molded the the progression of love from teenaged lust to mature love, using brilliant sensory details along the way…especially the visual (the gum, the skinny belts, the beehives, the stampede of buffalo coming to my mind as specifics). Yes, I heard those Sunday morning sermons too.
no kidden….lots to chew on here…..LOVELY Donald
Donald, I’m not so much on anything Wrigley’s, but you had me with that first line anyway (and then some). I knew I was gonna be in for a ride! And yes, all the busy pockets-full misguided energy of youth, laid bare, yet nary a hint of judgment at all. Perfect “description” of the nitty-gritty, as we imagined and floundered for elusive love (or at least attention) all expressed in a billboard flurry of images. Buffalo and hormones both gone wild!
It’s a lovely progression you make, youth to older-by-some, emotionally seamless here (good trick by the way!) (well done I mean). And I some understand, personally, that later stance… and maybe it has all that daily “detail” (we adore) yet maybe it is more recognized as something more than only fire, as maybe it is also air, like what we’ve been breathing all along. Does less splashing make love more visible?
A wonderful poem Donald. Lovingly. (much impressed, and better… enjoyed)