Flower Child

she never told him the truth

instead she said his father

had not returned

from the battle field

with names

spelled at times with a K or a C

or cut-off, clipped

her tongue choking on make-believe

foreign syllables

 

       had never existed

 

she swore she’d tell him

when he reached eighteen

old enough to understand

 

       those crazy years

 

guitar and alcohol music

perfume of grass in the nights

and the wild days

coming, going, exchanging

intimacy, just a bunch

of careless denim teenagers

 

       one of them was there

 

for sure in a graying photograph

of all of them she kept

inside a copy of The Fountainhead

they all looked alike

young, defiant, writing a novel

or tracing tattoos of a clean new world

inside her thighs

 

       it could have been any one of them

 

it doesn’t matter any more

on route 90, two in the morning

she overturned her purple and yellow

Volkswagen into a ditch

 

her son went on to be an officer

decorated for bravery

and later a scientist

a surgeon

a famous author or poet

       one of those…

 

someone his parents would have been proud of

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© Johnmichael Simon

2014

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