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Flower Child Poet

      upon receiving a book of poetry from an old acquaintance


The way you pronounce your name

once fresh from girlish dreams

of beds and blankets, nakedness,

moonlight caressing thigh and breast


is filled with crease and spittle now


Goose bumps and sharing secrets

have given way to wrinkled neck

and cheeks, shadows on your upper lip

mark off those places where tweezers,

anti-ageing creams have written eulogies

to youth across your face


Armies of lovers who once filled

your pages, hints of musk

and moist explorations have been replaced

with memories of aunts and grandmothers

prayer books, knitting

boiled beef and gefilte fish


So now your graying photo on the

back cover, unmistakably over seventy

unmistakably Jewish, stares out at us—

we page through searching for some

remembered midnight whispers, some

throaty gasps. heaving and pink explosions

but find only cobwebs and museum gift shops


You could have fooled us with a pseudonym

but brave and bobby pinned you’ve chosen honesty,

closed that bedroom door forever


Oh how we miss you!

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© Johnmichael Simon



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