Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Summer of 1995

Who do you love?
Are you for sure?
Who do you love?
Are you for sure?
Who…do you love?
Are…you…for sure?

Hmmm…I love that song
And not just because LL Cool J is the artist
It takes me back
Summer of 1995
Portsmouth Virginia
Old enough to appreciate
the simple things in life
Too young to know that Portsmouth is not

17 and carefree
days consisted of sitting on the porch
with my best friend who
just so happened to be my younger sister
(swatting mosquitos
pass me the calamine lotion)
watching her fall in love
with the boy next door
now three’s a crowd
until I met her boyfriend’s friend

and when the novelty of young crushes
wore off
we formed a girl group with our cousin
practicing dance routines until the
wee hours in the morning
only to come in second place
at a community talent show
still convinced: we’re born-to-be-stars

splitting our $15 winnings three ways at the mall
spotting and eventually shadowing Allen Iverson
ducking behind the clothes racks
whenever he turned around
finally mustering up the nerve
to ask him for his autograph

and when night fell
I wanted nothing more than to win a game
of scrabble against my grandmother
reuniting with my her and my grandfather
after nine years
and meeting my eight-year-old brother
for the first time
wow, he looks just like me

falling asleep in my dead father’s room
finding comfort in the stillness
and the sound of crickets chirping
a summer full of felicity
summer of 1995
one I’ll never forget