Tag Archives: Teenagers

Late Starter

 

Late Starter

He called his dad a troglodyte, his sisters, basket cases,

although he was not brash enough to do so to their faces.
He felt himself the underdog—blamed for everything.
He felt his wings were clipped, although he dreamed of taking wing.
Someday he would spring the trap and he would show them all.
But until that day, he’d simply hang out at the mall,
checking out the chicks and panhandling when he could.
He knew he could do great things and some day he would,
but no one gave him chances. The Mexicans and Arabs
with their Virgin Marias and their half-moons and their scarabs
were taking all his jobs away. He didn’t even try.
Why should a decent white guy bother to apply?

How dare his dad declare that he has nothing on the ball?
He is kept plenty busy holding up this wall.
When the other wall is built, his life will come together.
He’ll get some fancy job and break the family tether.
Get a real cool crash pad and party with his friends.
He’ll make some just as soon as this foreign invasion ends.
Time enough for school once Trump takes out the trash.
Then he’ll ace his classes and rake in the cash.
He’ll show every idiot who claims he is a bum
that he is the genius. He’ll show them who is dumb!
Those guys who hang out at the mall in every sort of weather?
If we could read their thoughts, they just might be birds of a feather.

 

Prompt words for the day are troglodyte, brash, underdog, spring. Mall photo by Neel Tailor, used with permission. Other photos by Judy D-B. 

Mistakes in Parenting 1: Teenage Fashionista

 

Teenage Fashionista

She layers on her makeup, gussies up her hair,
then faces indecision over what she is to wear.
It is an epic battle, trying to decide
inside which current fashion her body will reside.

She asks no one’s opinion. She’d rather try and pile
garment after garment, not quite today’s best style,
on bed and chair and carpet, in crumpled little heaps
until she finds the outfit that she will wear for keeps.

There is no dearth of choices of every hue and kind,
which makes it even harder—this making up her mind.
Crop tops, skirts or Levis ripped in the right places
are surveyed in the mirror as she strides off her paces.

Lip poochings and selfies help to make the choice.
When she finally picks her costume, all of us rejoice.
Into the car and speeding to get to school by nine,
both of the  kids delivered, back home I guzzle wine.

Raising a fashionista is something short of fun.
I swear I won’t go shopping with the younger one.
I’ll build her fascination with reptiles or bugs,
go hunting in swamp waters for snakes or frogs or slugs.

I won’t encourage fashion sense or darling little dresses.
I’ve had enough of posturing and daily costume messes.
Making mistakes in parenting is not part of the fun,
and for sure the next time, I’ll make a different one.

 

Prompt words today are help, dearth, epic and indecision.

Adolescence

 

 

 

1960, Murdo grade school’s 7th and 8th grade, first boy-girl party in the unfinished basement of our “new” house.  I’m the tallest girl in the 8th grade, dancing with the shortest boy in the 7th grade. I have on two different dresses in these photos taken on the same night.  I ripped the side seam out of the first one trying to duck under someone’s arm during the first dance.  I had to go change into one of my older sister’s dresses. Click on photos to enlarge.

Adolescence

Awkward pauses, awkward poses.
Awkward stances, offering roses.
Teens are natural at this.
First date, first crush, first awkward kiss.

Stumbling to stand like newborn colt,
One day suave, just now a dolt.
All creatures need to learn to be
what they’ll be one day effortlessly.

We learn our lessons through mistakes—
missed swings at balls and fallen cakes.
There’ll be missteps. That die is cast,
but adolescence does not last.

I’ve used this photo before, but the poem is new. The prompt today is awkward.

Cold Weather and the Subtle Art of Wooing

 

Cold Weather and the Subtle Art of Wooing

A frozen little nose and frigid little toes
plague my teeny-bopper everywhere she goes,
for she does not cover tender little parts
when the winter comes and when the snowing starts.

Flip-flops on her feet, face naked to the air—
she seems to need to show us everything that’s there.
Little mini-skirts and a tiny cotton blouse
with nary a parka as she journeys house-to-house.

She says the weather’s nothing. She says she isn’t cold,
and she will not listen. She simply won’t be told
by her mother or her father that she should bundle up.
We try to give her mittens, hot cocoa in a cup.

Now once again she’s out of here with a new boyfriend
but without a coat or sweater to protect against the wind.
But then I see her logic. for when she subtly sneezes,
he drapes an arm around her to shield her from the breezes. 

So even though my daughter might seem naive and daft
not taking due precautions against the cold and draft,
there’s a method to her madness. She knows what she is doing.
Instead of dressing for the weather she is dressing for the wooing.

 

The WordPress prompt today is frigid.

Sweet Clover

Getting ready to leave for Minnesota in an hour, so I’ll rely on a poem written two years ago that meets the demands of the prompt word today, which was “honk.”

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Sweet Clover

Before our dad told us its real name,
we used to call it wild mustard.
What did we know about sweet clover except for its color
and that summer smell, cloying in its sugared perfume.
It filled the air and smothered the plains—
bright yellow and green where before
brown stubble had peeked through blown snow.

On these dry lands, what flowers there were
tended to be cash crops or cattle feed.
Sweet clover or alfalfa.
The twitching noses of baby rabbits brought home by my dad
as we proffered it to them by the handful.
Fragile chains we draped around our necks and wrists.
Bouquets for our mom
that wilted as fast as we could pick them.

Summers were sweet clover and sweet corn
and first sweethearts parked on country roads,
windows rolled down to the night air,
then quickly closed to the miller moths.
Heady kisses,
whispered confessions, declarations,
unkept promises.
What we found most in these first selfish loves
was ourselves.

The relief of being chosen
and assurance that all our parts worked.
Our lips accepting those pressures unacceptable
just the year before.
Regions we’d never had much congress with before
calling out for company.
That hard flutter
like a large moth determined to get out.
Finding to our surprise,
like the lyrics of a sixties song,
that our hearts could break, too.

Hot summer nights,
“U”ing Main,
cars full of boys honking
at cars full of girls.
Cokes at Mack’s cafe.
And over the whole town
that heavy ache of sweet clover.
Half promise, half memory.
A giant invisible hand
that covered summer.

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The prompt word today was honk.

First Lust

 

 jdbphotos (Click on any photo to enlarge all)

First Lust

When we were young, before love rusted,
how we pined and how we lusted.
We lived on love. So sure. Nonplussed.
As though we held a deed of trust
on those we kissed. We arched, they thrust,
our hearts pounding as though percussed.

We came home rumpled, dizzy, mussed—
our heads swirling, slightly concussed.
Our mothers warned. Our fathers fussed,
seeking to turn our dreams to dust.
Our hearts reeling in shamed disgust,
our faces flamed as they discussed.

And although we thought we must
pretend to listen, inside we cussed,
knowing their words to be unjust.
Within each throbbing teenage bust
beat a heart free of distrust,
bursting with love’s wanderlust.

Back there at our very starts,
as we were learning to use our hearts,
back when we thought they might combust,
our hearts were tender, without crust.
We gave them fully with no mistrust.
We thought the world of love was just.

 

 

The prompt word today was lust.

First Love and the School Reunion

Then and Now

First Love

Zing! went our heartstrings. Zang! went our souls.
Eyes filled with wonder, hearts cupped like bowls
ready to fill  with passion and love.
Putting each other on like a glove.

First kisses miracles we’d never known.
No longer single all on our own.
Someone to cuddle, someone to spoon.
Hand holds and lip locks over too soon.

Misunderstandings, squabbles and fights.
Heartbreak and lonely Saturday nights.
Then a new glance from cars “U”ing  main.
Flirting and wooing all over again.

More hugs and kisses parked on a hill.
How to forget them? We never will.
At school reunions, we relive those lives,
husbands beside us, or boyfriends or wives.

Talking of other things: study halls, games,
but always remembering carving those names
in desktops and memory—first loves forever—
tendrils that bind us that we cannot sever.

We’ll soar ahead to the rest of our lives,
collecting new memories—bees in our hives.
But no honey finer than that we made first.
No sweeter lips and no stronger thirst.

Stored in our hearts, remembered but hidden,
hoarded like treasures sealed in a midden,
our lives are made richer by both now and then.
Past memories opening over again

spill out old secrets, then seal them away
to be unwrapped on some future day
when old schoolmates meet for two days’ reminiscing
of school pranks and ballgames and homework. And kissing.

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The prompt word today was “Zing.”