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ENDLESS SUMMERS
by Joan Jobe Smith

Those endless summers when my son
and his buddies were too young
to drive a car, I packed as many
boy-men sardines that would fit
into my VW Bug and drove them
to the Surf Theater in Huntington Beach
to see surf movies, The Endless Summer,
Saltwater Wine and when the surf was Up,
they strapped as many surfboards as the VW
surf racks would hold and I drove them
to the Huntington Beach Pier where they
learned the poetry of the sea, sailed
aquamarine and spindrift soup
while I lay on the sand
studying for grad school exams
trying to make something of myself
and tried not to wish I were one of them
and then all the way home I listened to
their teen-aged a-b-c’s of “awesome,”
“boss” and “cool,” the salt and
sun turning their hair golden till
autumn and time to go back to school
 
and now my son and his buddies,
the age I was back then, their sun-streaked
hair grown-up dark while they try to make
something of themselves, come surfing now
to get back into shape and my son
brings his children now to show them
the way of the waves, those endless summers
and those sonnets of sun, sea and salt
going on and on as endless as
always.

ABOUT THE POEM: “Endless Summers” by Joan Jobe Smith dedicated to her son, former surfer Danny Bryan Horgan, was first published after award of first prize in Surfer Magazine‘s 1997 poetry competition, and next appeared in Pearl (2000). In 2009, the poem received a Long Beach (California) Arts Council City Transit Award and is on permanent display at the Long Beach First Street Transit Gallery. In 2013, 48th Street Press will publish the poem as a broadsheet. The poem will appear in the upcoming Silver Birch Press SUMMER ANTHOLOGY (June 2013).