Down at the Tavern (Where I Can Be Me)

I raise a pint,
or three or more
and greet my
friends as they
come through
the door.
We meet
most days
 
after
 
work,
 
before
 
we head home
well after dark.
We play
some darts
and pool and
such; they’re
a cool bunch
of guys
for friendly bets.
 
I
could
never
let
them
down.
 
We’re buds
you see,
while
at the
tavern,
where
I
can
be me.
 
No one
nags or
complains
or wants
all my
time;
I’m
always
happiest
when
I
drink.
 
I’m the
center
of attention;
I’m a good
‘ole
boy,
everyone
laughs
at my
corny jokes.
 
But the
wife, she
don’t like
it that I
stay out
so late
and that
our kid
doesn’t
get to
see me
much.
 
But I
feel
good
when I
have a
buzz on,
the nerves
are calmed
from the
pressures of life.
 
This is where
I’m happiest,
see,
when I’m
down at
the tavern
being me.

Victoria asks us to write a poem in the first person and use another persona (if we so wish) over at dVerse Poets for Meeting the Bar:  http://dversepoets.com/

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Ending the 60s on a High

The fifties were a time of “Leave It
To Beaver” and “Father Knows Best”, the
tv shows of that era got my rapt attention.
What wonderful lives those children led.
Clean, spacious homes, no one drunk on
the floor. No screaming fights in the night,
that awakened you with fear, everything calm,
loving and understanding. I loved those
shows and I loved my books and was an
ardent reader, books sa(er)ved me well
as I escaped from my reality to theirs.

It also was the time of the Cuban Missile
Crisis and when I was in elementary
school we had drills where we were
instructed to get under our desks and
cover our heads for protection in case
of bombings. We also practiced
evacuating the school and got into cars
driven by parents who would take us off
the campus to a safe area elsewhere.
I often wonder if those drills didn’t add
anxiety to my already fear-ridden little self.

School became more difficult for me to
manage as I entered puberty and new
hormones surging meant more changes to my
already stressed life. Life seemed to frighten
me more and more as I spiraled down into
what I can only describe as an emotional break.
I felt low and bleak.
By high school and when the panic would hit,
I snuck away from school and walked home.
What was happening to me? I had no idea,
only that I was in almost unbearable pain.
Funny that home would become my refuge, but
no, that was an illusion; it really wasn’t.

I remember watching the news and seeing the
war in Vietnam happening right on the screen.
I was grateful that my oldest brother had
escaped going and was stationed in Germany.
At the end of the sixties when I was 18, and out
of high school, I got a job in a law office and felt
independent and happy making my own money.
I had a boyfriend and had sex
and we smoked weed and I felt free.
The music of the day became my religion.
The Beatles evolved along with me and
as their messages expanded so did my mind.
The Moody Blues sang of astral travel and
raising your consciousness. Crosby, Stills, Nash
& Young swept me up with their meaningful lyrics;
I flew so high. I turned on, tuned in and dropped out.

Soon a newfound spirituality became my
focus and awakened me to a profound new
consciousness that propelled me
into a life that I had never imagined for myself.

The illusions of this world became crystal clear
and I no longer perceived it as I once had.
The shift was acute and my philosophical
insight could not be denied. My short relation-
ship with marijuana was over but I remained in a
perpetual high, induced this time by a drastic
change in my awareness. I found a yoga
teacher…or had he found me? I joined a
commune and meditated and my newly structured
life took me away, far away, from my past one.
I became a vegetarian and was disciplined
and devoted to strengthening my body and mind.
Light shown where there had been darkness.

The sixties closed with me on a high note and
for that I am ever grateful. Life continues
to change and evolve with letting go, holding on
and relaxing more into the belief that all will
unfold as it should.

Bjorn and Amy Jo Sprague invite us to write in free verse and share the decades in which we grew up or have lived:  http://dversepoets.com/2015/12/17/free-to-be-free-meet-the-bar/

Dear Beverly

Decades after I last saw you,
I wrote you a letter but didn’t
know where to send it.
I wanted you to know how
much it meant to me that you
included me in your family.
We met in 7th grade, and
soon discovered that we
were born a day apart at
the same local hospital.
Our mothers were
there at the same time.
We always joked that we
were in adjoining bassinets.

As we got to know each other
better, I started spending
nights or weekends at your house.
I never invited you into my home
in all those years that we were friends.
I was embarrassed and ashamed
at my father’s alcoholism and our
less than adequate living conditions.
I didn’t even know the word for what
my father’s troubles were and I didn’t
have the words or courage to tell you
how deeply it affected me.
And you never asked me why,
perhaps both of us too shy.
But being able to spend time
with you and your family,
even joining you on
vacations, was a nice break
and gave me a sense
of normalcy.

As we got older, we went
on dates together with
guys, you mostly with
Bill, who would end up
being your husband one day
and father of your boy.
Our lives took very different
paths after high school however
and we lost touch. You went on
to become an accomplished
nurse and I went the way of
spirituality and communal life.
Some years later we
reconnected back in Orlando.
You and Bill had divorced and
you were about to marry
another. I found out that
your father had passed
away from Alzheimers
many years prior when
he was in his fifties.
It took him young.

We met one other time
when I learned your
mother had passed,
but we drifted apart
again…never really
regaining the friendship
we had forged before.
And then came the day
I sat in stunned silence
as I read your obituary.
I never found out what had
happened…how your life
had ended. I hadn’t
used the opportunity
to let you know how
much you meant to me.
But I like to think that
love doesn’t have boundaries
and you know how much I cared.
Love, Gayle

I too tweaked the prompt today but this really impacted my life and I wanted to share it. I truly believe that all my loved ones know that I love them.

Our newest team member, Kelly, asks us to write love letters to someone before it’s too late or let someone know that we care for them over at dVerse Poets:  http://dversepoets.com/2015/10/27/im-going-to-miss-you-when-youre-gone/

It Wasn’t Us

Stopovers at the local bars

Showed your favoritism

It wasn’t to us–your family

Your preference was to befriend

Strangers by buying rounds of drinks

And playing senseless games of chance

Shallow bonding with those who did not reciprocate

Who took advantage of a drunk

You not only were an addict of drink

But one of narcissism

Money needed for the household

Was squandered on “them”

We were left with no escape

From our saddened, empty entrapment

Void, hollow, so divest

Of care and trust

We floundered and thrashed

In the tidal wave of your selfishness

Ending up bruised and battered

We represented responsibility

Real relationships with feelings and needs

We amplified your anxiety

Your detachment was blatant

Everyone else was your friend

Other children and people on our street

Thought the world of you

Handymen who came to repair

A broken pipe or the waitress

At your favorite place to eat

You were their best buddy

Your equilibrium steady

Chatting them up, having a laugh

A façade of friendliness

Hours spent sitting in front of the house

Waiting, watching

For someone, anyone

To come by and with

A wave of your hand

And a friendly smile and witty charm

You would reel them in

And once again forget about us

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