Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Midweek Poem

The Summer I Was Sixteen
by Geraldine Connolly

The turquoise pool rose up to meet us,
its slide a silver afterthought down which
we plunged, screaming, into a mirage of bubbles.
We did not exist beyond the gaze of a boy.

Shaking water off our limbs, we lifted
up from ladder rungs across the fern-cool
lip of rim. Afternoon. Oiled and sated,
we sunbathed, rose and paraded the concrete,

danced to the low beat of "Duke of Earl."
Past cherry colas, hot-dogs, Dreamsicles,
we came to the counter where bees staggered
into root beer cups and drowned. We gobbled

cotton candy torches, sweet as furtive kisses,
shared on benches beneath summer shadows.
Cherry. Elm. Sycamore. We spread our chenille
blankets across grass, pressed radios to our ears,

mouthing the old words, then loosened
thin bikini straps and rubbed baby oil with iodine
across sunburned shoulders, tossing a glance
through the chain link at an improbable world.

3 comments:

Darlene said...

That is definitely the best poem I have ever read, it's like a page from my past and brings me back to a summer day long ago, unlike anything else. Did you write that? Holy Cow!

Muley said...

Darlene--

I wish I could write that well! This is a poem written by a lady named Geraldine Connolly. It's written from a woman's point of view, so there's a couple of things I can't directly identify with (the suntan lotion under the bra strap, for instance), but the mood and the sense of simple pleasures and heat and laziness and yearning all struck a chord of memory with me.

I guess if I was 16 again, I would have liked to have met a girl like the one described in the poem. I could have rubbed in the lotion!

Darlene said...

The bra strap comment cracked me up. I didn't know Muley was a guy until just now.