by Gary Glauber
At 17, we were handsome couple,
filled with hope & youthful exuberance,
dreams not yet compromised or diluted,
driving around together, kissing in the
shadows of commuter train tracks,
fueling strong urges of innocent lust
at a time before life got complicated.
Your father’s death in the rear view mirror,
your family gathered together in support.
Temporarily I became one of them,
helping you find your way
through adolescence made tougher.
The odometer reflected
the beauty of that dimpled smile
& brown eyes that broadcast
depths of an ocean deep inside.
We touched each other
in any number of ways,
a first love blossoming
to a radio soundtrack
approved by your older brother,
the popularity of Peter Frampton
a sudden revelation after years of touring.
These guitar leads seemed
to show us the way.
I picked you up from a hard shift
at the grocery store,
the favorite cashier of the old ladies
& my favorite too.
We drove on, no special destination,
savoring small talk,
the special connection,
miles tallied en route to
building a relationship.
At 17 we lived in the moment,
never realizing that someday
we’d run out of gas,
sell the car for scrap metal,
move on to other lives apart.
Back then, the road
stretched on forever.
AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me, at 19, during a year spent writing and studying abroad in London, England.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The age 17 was a relatively happy time, what with the trappings of a romantic relationship happening as distraction. There was lots of time spent in the car, listening to music. She lived far across town. I gladly traveled those distances, believing in my notions of what I professed to be love.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist. His works have received multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. He champions the underdog to the melodic rhythms of obscure power pop. His collection, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press) is available through Amazon, as is a chapbook, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press). His next collection, Worth the Candle, is forthcoming from Five Oaks Press.