i had just turned six when
my mom with her long, dark hair
and my aunt, blonde and long too—
sat out on the steps
with their friends
and their short shorts, sobbing;
Tab and real Pepsi
in the bottle
Virginia Slims between the index
barefoot in the warm shade;
topaz eyes full and wide,
little legs tan; and tendril-bleached,
umber hair, wild—
even i knew i wouldn’t forget
where i was that day
when i heard
‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’
in the background
and cried too
Copyright © 2013 Jennifer Wagner
Sliding in to link up with the amazing poets at dVerse Poets Pub for OpenLinkNight.
Very vividly written, Jennifer. Interestingly enough I was in Germany when Elvis died. Out in a disco that night they played mostly Elvis music.....and everyone cried. He was one of a kind.
I loved how you knew you would remember where you were when Elvis died! And you described your mom and her friend to a tee....I was there!(in a manner of speaking) Great poem.
mmm nice capture of the moment...dont remember much of elvis dying...i think my first concrete image of something like that was the challenger explosion...can see it clear as day...like the detail you use to bring this to life...
My sister was eight, and in love with Elvis.... She was just crushed. I love the story in this... Very vivid!
Masterful, Jennifer! Every line nuanced just right, with details, sights, sounds, flavors. This is one of your best.
you paint quite a vivid picture. I can almost here the melody in the background.
wao...I just visualised it...so fine and exact
Your words put me right in that memory...superb write.
Just lovely, Jennifer. What we remember and what we forget. Those bitter/sweet memories that stay so vividly with us, I think are a big piece of the puzzle: why we are who we are. If only they came with a manual. (Or perhaps it's best this way.) But, for me too, those moments captured in time - are a wonderful place to revisit.
Sweet memory!! Aw!!
"Don't Cry Daddy" was the one that made me cry.
" Virginia Slims between the index
age" Love that!
So nostalgic, Jennifer. I was a teenager when Elvis passed away and remember vividly the sorrow in my parents eyes, they were big fans of his.Your poem reminds me of American Pie, another day " the music died." Beautiful write!
It's funny, the moments we always remember. Depending on age, it might be Pearl Harbor, or President Kennedy's assassination, or the space shuttle exploding, or 9-11. Or, it can be a celebrity like Elvis, or John Lennon, or Princess Diana, passing away. Those things stay with a person forever, and along with the momentous, the small details get stored away, too, and you've done such a fine job with that. You're so good at the small, telling detail.
I do have one quibble, if that's all right. I don't like the line breaks around "sobbing Tab and real Pepsi/in the bottle". It makes it sound to me as if they are crying carbonated tears into a soda bottle. I might do it this way, if it were my poem, which I realize it isn't, and I apologize if I'm overstepping:
sat out on the steps
sobbing with their friends
and their short shorts
(and so on, as you had it)
I always look forward to coming here and finding out what you've written. :-)
So vividly desribed. It's the juxtaposition of sunshine and sadness that i find moving. Like when the velvet underground sang "its such a perfect day" and there's a sense of foreboding.
I remember john lennon's death clearly age 7. This was so well written. David
Beautiful tribute, on many levels...to a person, family, a time and innocence.
you really capture the feeling of an era with this, painted so precisely. vivid is right!
you took me right into the moment... funny how detailed we remember some things.. i have a few intense memories myself where i still see every small detail like in a picture...cool write
I appreciate you taking the time to read and offer this critique Shay. I certainly don’t mind you pointing this out. Constructive criticism from a writer I consider to know a thing or two is good…open season on my poetry, not so much. I’m just not quite that thick-skinned. So back to the point you brought up. You are quite keen in that you have touched on the line that did not sit right with me. I had tweaked and tweaked and still it bugged. ‘sobbing’ has to come just before ‘Tab’ as that’s the way it flows as I recite it. I’ve edited the post—I hope it is more to your liking. I am happier with it. Thank you Miss Fireblossom. :-)
I remember hearing the news, I was a little older at the time, but even so I couldn't recall the incredibly vivid details that you have managed to bring to your poem...you must have an incredible memory...a great write:-))
I was a preteen when Elvis came on the scene so he was a vivid part of my coming-of-age years. So many talented artists we lose too young.
lovely, visual write - i don't know where i was when the news came, though i was old enough...
He is one of my fav singer, I love him ~
Thanks for sharing your memory of him ~
Nice to see you at D'verse ~
Such a sweet poem. Wonderful details. K.
I grew up listening to Elvis because my dad was obsessed with his music, and I still listen to him to this day, so this poem is quite sentimental for me. I remember my family going out to eat to Red Lobster and my dad was singing an Elvis song to my mom in the car, lol. Back then, I thought,"Oh, barf," but now I think it's very sweet and reminds me of those times. Wonderful details, Jennifer, so vivid and clear, and the flow was spot on. Great piece. :)
aww...thanks for sharing your memory Mary.
I knew you would be 'there' Ms. WabiSabi! Seems like I've commented before on some of your nostaligic writes that they reminded me of mine!
oh I remember that well too...I was a Freshman in High School...
aww...thank you kelly :)
What a wonderful compliment to me Kim, thank you so much.
Thank you RMP.
Thanks Sadia :-)
Thank you very much for reading and your kind words.
You are right...they are pieces in the big puzzle aren't they? So well said.
That one is a tear-jerker. Thank you!
Thank you so much Lisa! My mom was a huge, huge fan of his. Oh how she cried.
I'm super honored by your words David, thank you much. I remember that day too...and on the radio 'Imagine' being played over and over again...
Thank you so much! :-)
Thank you! :-)
Funny how there are those few that are etched forever from when we were so small. Thank you Claudia :-)
I think it is so clear because Elvis had been like a piece of the fabric of my life...my mom was such a big fan of his and I heard his music being played since I could remember. Thank you very much, I appreciate your thoughts!
Thank you Ruth :-)
He was very talented for sure. Truly an icon.
ha...what a cool little memory to have tucked away...I can picture you rolling your eyes...Thanks so much Heather--loved having your thoughts :-)
I like what you did!
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Thanks for saying so :)
There really are those moments in history that impact us forever. They seem to make their marks on our hearts, and the memories are full of life and detail. Thanks for sharing that memory with us :)
Thanks for reading lori :)
You got me with this one - beautifully done, terrifically and sweetly evocative - great writing...
best Wishes to you Scott www.scotthastie.com
I appreciate your thoughts Scott--thank you!
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