Haibun: The Summer of Elegant Men

Today at Poetic Bloomings, we are prompted to write about “That Summer of…..”  This was the summer when I was 12.  This poem and other poems can viewed at:  AN ENTERTAINING SUMMER – DAY #8: THAT SUMMER IN SICILY

Haibun: The Summer of Elegant Men
I was at that awkward age between being a child and a teenager. Thick glasses, knobby knees, beautiful skin like my Aunt Gay – roses and cream. But I was so bored. Both my teenaged aunts had gone to camp as counselors and my best buddy Effie was in Greece visiting relatives. So very hot. The ceiling fans in the house barely moved the stuffy air around the high ceilinged rooms. My books were all read and the public library wouldn’t allow me into the adult section. I went to the kitchen to discuss my boredom with my grandmother. “Watch the oven for me” and off she went to the library in the corner of the house. She returned shortly. High up out of my reach were certain books. On the table she placed four books. “I think these will keep you busy for a bit.” And there, she placed beside the basket of tomatoes and freshly picked string beans from the kitchen garden were: a ratty edition of On Walden Pond, a brand new Collected Poems by T.S.Eliot, and antique editions of The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest. I eagerly seized them and rushed up to my room. I read them obsessively. Within two weeks they were all read and I began to read them again. The poems of T.S.Eliot stayed by my bedside until I left for University. It became dog-eared and sometimes a page would fall out. But that summer, I became enrapt with the four main men in my life. John Lennon became part of them the next summer. These men influenced my taste in men until I finally married many years later. Thin men with wit and intelligence came and went in my life but these four men remained steady. They taught me to observe nature and people, to converse, to be true to myself, to write poetry. That summer of thin elegant men became the pattern of my summers and are still part of this summer. The Collected Poems still resides on the table by my bedside.

sultry summer days
unfold one page at a time –
elegant men smile

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Victoria C. Slotto
    Jul 08, 2016 @ 13:57:01

    Just love this, Toni. We both had grandmother’s who influenced us in wonderful ways, though mine died too young.

    Reply

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