Freckles

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They are scattered,

Maybe all but gone now,

But I wish for a hint

Of them

In seeing them shine;

and maybe now

A beautiful kind of embarrassment

for you,

and not for me.

 


That first day, I was trembling hard

Away from mommy, the first time, pulled

From her smile and mommy’s tender-warm love

to the looming pale-green dome

of bus number 46 in ‘76.

 


Toward the cold, stern and tired eyes of Mrs. Katiner.

I spell it wrong now, and would get Mr. Yustock’s paddle.

Him, too, I misspell, but I don’t misspell you,

 


Renee.

 


But she put me with the tall and pretty blonde,

more like a mantis than a unicorn,

but so pretty was she,

with long powerful

And lovely legs, for a child.

 


She knew I would not cry or tell,

so she kicked me hard for my sins

I had yet to commit.

 


Black and blue shins

All up and all down.

Her eyes flashed with a hatred,

I know not why

 


But I summed up the courage and stood up

No longer peeing in my pants

Too afraid to ask

I said, with big eyes and trembling voice,

“May I sit next to Renee?”

 


With long red hair and timid, shy face,

Glaring down at her coloring book,

I and she never said a word;

For 9 months

we sat together.

 


You were the first girl …

I asked.

You were beautiful Renee

And

Kind

and

feminine

AND

lived at the

END of Grisold Road

in ‘76.

 


Whenever I see a little girl

With red hair and freckles,

I think of you,

 


Long-dead childhood roars back.

 


She is iridescent, like you,

And I, the hopeful child again,

Just wanting to have a true friend.

 


Just a moment,

our youth and beauty is tentatively back,

one lost through time, poverty, and neglect —

a fading —

AND persistent freckle of our childhood’s past.

______

Listen to the podcast of the poem here.

Author: dropoutprofessor

A professor of English and Social Sciences that enjoys writing. Hope you enjoy my posts. All published work on this blog is my own. Pictures are used under license from Depositphotos.com or Shutterstock.com, unless otherwise noted.

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