The Hippie Girlfriend

She’d always ask him to tell her a story, and he could only come up with one. Her. At first, it would be endearing, how they could stroll and feel each other’s skin graze upon one another, the light air, a spring morning. It didn’t matter when, maybe him sitting at the counter with a fresh cup of coffee, she might walk behind and let her fingertips play with the hair of his ponytail while she found her chair across from him – both carrying morning smiles. The room could gradually fill with laughter as the two shared stories with each other, how remarkable it might be that ‘we are both sitting here right now’ and our lives have traveled so many different directions until this meeting. She might point to his eyes and he would speak to her braids, hers being a part of her life he could remember going back many many years, and as lovely as ever today. He could look into her eyes and think to himself there really is nothing more in my life than I need right now than this moment itself. And he would be afraid to tell her that for fear she might run away. She might reveal the same to him later on that ‘if you knew what I was thinking’ you would run away so quickly. They would smile at each other again and think just how lovely this moment could be, let’s hang onto it forever.

Both would then take a moment to pause and imagine time, look into one another’s eyes for a moment and realize so many decades had gone by, how blessed may we be to see such light in each other’s eyes … effortless, only spontaneity.

Theirs is a happy reunion, decades later when it seemed the planets had aligned in such a way to allow their lives to intermingle in a manner profound, that each day would be spent talking about how magical these times are, and how such a quiz upon our lives seems so confusing, yet simple. The coffee would be shared through the morning, and she would teach him how to cook again, and they would laugh at how easy the process was for both him to put together a meal and her to understand that someone might care for her, and she might care for someone as well.

He would go upstairs to ready himself for a morning walk and brushing past her room notice a sundress hanging in her bedroom, thinking only to himself, I don’t know if anyone could ever look so lovely as she will the day he might be graced with her presence in some outdoor venue in the week’s ahead. He would tell her that story, and then she would return with one of him standing in her doorway with a book bag and strap around his shoulder waiting for her to open the door. Utterances that came out of their mouths were words like charming, and elegant, and real, and now.

They took that first walk together in the snow at a familiar childhood island, where trails of walkers well established took them around the perimeter of the water. She broke the trail for a moment to show him some cut up wood whose faces of circled slice looked like turkeys with their rings and ruffled edges. He thought for a moment whether he should just agree, but then upon further glance he realized she was right, and the markings were a perfect playground for a thanksgiving treat. This walk seemed to hold a special promise having brought two lives together whom hadn’t known one another’s paths for years, yet could remember a name, a time, a memory like it was yesterday. By the time they reached the car, the crisp air of a late winter morning frosting cheeks, he thought to himself, and he wondered. They had been together now for less then a day, and he was about to say good-bye. (Should I kiss her? Should I ask her for a kiss?) His mind was running fast, and he felt like a teenager. He smiled and held her close, and she didn’t resist. He asked if he could and she said yes. That morning, in the parking lot of a childhood memory, the two young lovers embraced and shared a kiss, one that would send shivers through them both not just in that moment, but in decades of time that had been lost with one another and now found again.

We all wish to believe stories like this will go on and time allows chapters to be added, moments to be reminded, and new memories to be created. Thus will begin a retelling of a lovely chapter in the life of ‘the hippie girlfriend.’

© Thom Amundsen – prologue – 5/2021

Conversations With My Dad

People suggest

we ought not imagine

conversations with

the dead.

 

The afterlife we’re told

often speculation

a creation of our own need

to reconnect.

 

Yet if it weren’t true

they’re listening,

then these tears that

fall would not be real.

 

I have conversations with my dad,

the difficult questions,

the hard to know answers,

I know he’s thinking for me.

 

I suppose what he might say

standing here in the room,

is the same answer he gives me

from faraway where he remains

 

Waiting, hoping, wishing are all

positive realities toward doing.

I Cried Again Today

As I was drifting by,

little hands raised a blue ribbon,

to celebrate his sweet friend,

he was only wanting to remember

how much he cared for her,

how he loved her,

in that young child turning teen

sort of awkward stage.

He smiled as he rested the ribbon

in the middle of the

stop

sign and his nearby pal

understood why.

She was gone,

has been for far too long

already, in the manner of weeks,

and yet he will remember her,

cherish and love her spirit, again.

~

I thought of you,

my friend,

my pal,

the guy I thought so cool,

yet decades have passed,

in one fell swoop,

I see a child holding vigil

for another’s spirit.

I cried …

I thought of you.

And The Story Went On

Soon after she left

He sat in the room

Knowing the alone

Had become his world

Outside the door

The people walked by

And one whispered slow

He’s a statue inside

And then the cherry

On the cigarette lit

A waft of smoke nearby

And the neighbor knew the truth

He wasn’t alone anymore

At least from the outside

Looking in

To a place he never understood

Just knew he was there forever

Until he stepped away

That would be a very long time

A lot of pain to travel then

Before the world looked new again

See he was fighting for the love

That seemed so certain weeks before

That now appeared to be down the road

Out of reach and further down the avenue

He couldn’t no longer appreciate that beauty

Instead just pain every vision that met his eyes

Yet, tonight, as the darkness began to drift into twilight

His heart had felt the pain, he knew there would be light

Soon after she left

He sat in the room

Knowing the alone

Would remain close for a time

Until he soon stepped off his dime

Back Story

A trail leads to the crest of the hill

A slow walk

Notice rocks shift with each step

Thinking about that moment

Wondering while winding along

Aimless with purpose in solace

~

I remember a story

However it only gains strength

When retold in detail

Moments to help recognition

And then before, again, one time, always

Another reality that was owned alone

~

The sun is shining

And eyes explore the landscape

Crossing the moving highway

Another part of town

Just on the horizon

Glances into that one time …

~

I might rather just keep walking

Indeed the retelling might recall

A vulnerable moment

To help define that arrogance

That quiet, screaming insolent past

I will tell just as I remember it all

~

The gravel created impressions on my jeans

And my elbows dug into the soil left behind