summer of sorrow

dear friends
i had no intention of writing this, as we were
driving to the farm on Friday these words just
began arriving. why?… i have no idea because i
haven’t thought about these memories in decades.
oh, the mystery and wonder of poetry….

so Scout took the wheel and it all spilled out,
before we reached the farm. everything told here
is true. i changed her name, it didn’t seem fair
not to.

i don’t often put the song i write to, up top,
but this song IS part of this story more than
any other poem i’ve written. it was the only song
i listened to that summer when it was released.

as always, the words follow the slow tempo. ty.

oh Lola,
my Puerto Rican Princess
you wrote such exquisite poetry then
oh, my peaceful flower child
where, where do your words reside today?

we loved each other, our senior year
so immersed, in Tolkien and Kazantzakis
so inseparable, a promised ever after in our eyes
so untouchable, to a world beyond our view

the purity and innocence, of a first true love
our reflected light so intense, we outshone the sun
we were just 16, the only moment that truly mattered
was whatever moment we were in

born a little too late for Woodstock,
we were still committed and it was always
about Peace, Love and Understanding with us
and oh, did we wear our hippy proud!

i can still remember, the whole bunch of us
hangin’ out, smokin’ out and singin’ out loud!
while you braided my waist length hair
right there, on the worn steps of our high school

an hour later, you gave your Valedictorian speech
hell…there wasn’t a dry eye in the house
oh Lola, you made your boyfriend so damn proud!
then, just one week later…you broke my heart

walking those miles to your apartment
with a flower, I always picked for your hair
you and him were holding hands and laughing
the flower died…right where it dropped

gone was your ankle length, silken skirt
gone was the sheer, embroidered Indian blouse
and the peace sign necklace I saved up for
who was this girl, with cut off shorts and t shirt?

and so began my summer of sorrow, that year in ‘71
and so began a lifelong habit, retreating in silence
when the pain becomes so unbearably real
there was no peace, no love…only my fountain of tears
images (32)

and then about ten years later,
i shut the lights and locked the door
to my little shop and went for my run
and no matter the temperature or weather

wearing shorts, sneaks, headband and ponytail
i ran and ran and ran, ‘til I just couldn’t run no more
hey man, I was committed…….to never being hurt again
but there was no peace, no love and no one to understand

and as I was bent over, trying to catch my breath
under the arch at Washington Square
this woman who seemed so excited to see me
hugged me right through, all the sweat on my chest!

‘how are you, it’s so good to see you! how long has it been?’
and then like an electric shock, thunderbolt to my heart
i thought, ‘oh God no, my Puerto Rican Princess,
where, where, where did you go?’

oh sweet Lola, my faded flower child
you probably don’t remember saying this
as we sat down, and the bottle came out of your purse,
‘Aragon, I made such a mistake leaving you. I’m really sorry’

all I could say, after us both taking a hefty swig,
‘please, please tell me, you took that full scholarship to Vassar’
her blank stare said, ‘do you wanna’ see some pics of my kids?’
so as one pain began to heal… another wound took its place
and her promised call…never did ring

now I don’t pray all that often, but i knelt that night,
‘please, please, help her come to her senses. help her see!
or send someone to save her..….then send someone to save me’

35 thoughts on “summer of sorrow

  1. the flower died right where it dropped – love can be like that…. you took me back to Indian embroidered tops and beads and daisy chains around my neck…. this was young love and pure and I am glad the words came. x {hugs} and the bless the beautiful Scout for taking the wheel.

  2. beeseeker says:

    Speechless here.
    This is simply marvellously evocative – and current.
    Enjoyed it immensely.
    Well, nearly speechless

    • beeseeker, i am so sorry. WP, placed your wonderful comment in the SPAM section, and i just found it…

      thank you so much, your reaction really warms my heart. for someone who writes, i’m not sure there is a higher compliment than recieving a comment like yours, ty. ha, i like your sense of humor too, ‘nearly speechless’ *all smiles now*

  3. oh…so heart-breathtakingly beautiful!…i had tears…as always…your words move my inner being…

    • so sorry about that my friend, i wish this chapter of my life weren’t so sad. not for my sake, but for hers. Lola had an incredible poetic voice, i’m just so sorry she is not writing. thank you so much for taking the time to read such a long piece, it means a lot to me that you did.

  4. Robyn Lee says:

    Wow…Incredible — so full of raw emotion — felt like I was witnessing this in the current moment! It’s a heartbreaking but sweet love story in so many ways… Lola will always have a corner of your heart is seems… and that is not a bad thing at all! Stunning write dear friend ~ x RL

    • ‘Lola will always have a corner of your heart is seems’, yes, i believe that’s true Robyn. i guess first love’s are that way, but we shared an awful lot. i would illustrate all her poems for publications, and her poetic voice was just remarkable. i’ve been trying to figure out why these memories suddenly appeared, i think it’s the loss of her voice in the world. i mean she was given full 4 year scholarship to Vassar, scheduled to be in an advanced poetry program…it’s why the school recruited her…and now.

      so maybe that i’m writing now, the loss is looming larger on my heart and i’m understanding it all on a different level. i’ve tried looking for her online, but no luck. it would make me feel better if i knew she was doing well…and thank you for reading this, it probably wasn’t the easiest read so i really appreciate you taking the time, and leaving such a wonderful comment.

  5. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

    I can remember exactly where I was and smoking Panama Red….
    the Indian tunic embroidered that I made myself with the skirt I made
    I had a 3 strand of apple seeds I strung…wihen this song played……WOW…
    do I ever know when the flower died but not the memory..
    a memory lane story that each has….told in the moment of us being us…invincible and immortal….
    I empathize …for I this is one of those moments I am not sure ever one forgets….
    Thinking about back when and your thoughts tonight…..
    Take Care…

    • ‘had a 3 strand of apple seeds I strung’, wow, that takes me back, my friends strung apple seeds too.

      ‘invincible and immortal….’, yeah, it sure felt that way, didn’t it? i am grateful, if not a little late for having experienced that time in our history, and the history we made. ladyblue, the memories and details are as vivid to me, as if it all happened yesterday! and so are the emotions, in many respects this was as enjoyable a piece i’ve written, and the most difficult.

      ty, i so love when you visit::::peace::::and::::love:::: ladyblue.

  6. Oloriel says:

    Heartwreching, it reminded me a little bit of Forest Gump, which is one of my favourite movies. It is hard to write you anything,it had become a habit of your writing to leave me in tears, each word a drop that grows into a stream.
    At least we will always have beautiful memories to cherish.

    • ‘always have beautiful memories to cherish’, yes we will, and whenever i did think of her, i remembered the good memories. you know how every senior class has that one special couple, we were that couple. if we stopped in the hallway, everyone stopped with us and eventually no one could get to class! LOL!

      Oloriel, i’m sorry if my words do that to you…i’m just grateful you take the time to read, ty. always.

  7. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    so sad when love can’t keep up with the changes in someone – a great nostalgic and vivid illustration. Sorry for the pain. And thank you for the music that this hppy chick had almost forgotten

    • ‘so sad when love can’t keep up with the changes in someone’…yeah, i guess that’s what it was, i was never given a reason which i think made it harder to reconcile. i have to confess, i enjoyed much of that trip down memory lane because for the most part i had a blast during that decade.

      and you are most welcome, ty::::peace:::: sister.

  8. Outstanding writing, your imagery carried me forward until the end. AJM

    • well, thank you so very much and a warm welcome to you. i always feel a little nervous writing a long piece, that is the worry of course that the reader will fade because i’ve failed to keep their interest. so i really appreciate you taking the time to let me know that, it means a lot to me. *smiling now*

  9. Such a sad, beautiful tale…poetry definitely has a way of finding those hidden wounds, long healed over, but not without scar tissue…

    • angelkiss, you are so right. when we got to the farm, Scout found me wandering the clearing being all quiet, which is my ‘tell’. she was great, we talked it out because i couldn’t understand why this was cascading all of a sudden. i mentioned earlier, i think it’s because i’m writing now, i’m grieving our loss of her poetic voice in the world. she was a magnificent poet, i hope she’s writing under a different name because i can’t find anything, with the name i knew.

      thank you for reading it through, leaving your wonderful comment. please know i have been thinking about you.
      {{{ h u g s }}} and *smiles*

  10. Ms. Marie says:

    So beautiful and sad, once again I am made speechless by your words.

    • ms. Marie….this will be one of those poems i’ll go to, and i don’t often reread my work, when i need to just wring out all my sadness. i so wish it had a better ending for Lola…..ty, and thank you for reading so much of my poetry today, i’m always happy seeing your Gravatar on my pages.

      have a wonderful day {{{ h u g s }}}and *smiles*

  11. […] and my loving soulsister during that last year, even Lola, the poet priestess who I wrote about in summer of sorrow, who recieved a full scholarship to Vassar took up with an alchoholic and never did attend Vassar or […]

  12. So sad….I’ve come across people from my past that I just want to scream “What has become of you?!” Voice, principals, dreams all lost and/or abandoned. Horrifyingly sad.

    And I’m glad Scout was sent to save you 🙂

  13. Well, I am a little younger than you ( was 4 years old in 71), but not too young to remember the 70’s. When I get homesick for the seventies I like to play Gerry Rafferty, Boz Scaggs, Allman Brothers Band and such.

    This was so beautifully romantic. You are such a good writer. You have such a way of captivating and transporting your readers.


    • Lola’s story still chokes me up, there was such profound promise embodied in her and she was the first true love of my life, i was fully invested with decades of repressed emotions while writing this.

      i like writing these story / poems, i began 2 years ago writing stories and i still enjoy it very much. i guess it’s just a knack i didn’t know i had until i began writing, ty so much for this engaging comment Theresa…oh and for the Rafferty reminder, i haven’t listened to him in decades! lol

  14. “Lola’s story still chokes me up, there was such profound promise embodied in her and she was the first true love of my life, i was fully invested with decades of repressed emotions while writing this.”

    I think I understand what you mean. I am sorry that those emotions were repressed for such a long time. I have experienced that in a sense, except it wasn’t in the case of a romantic relationship, but rather some family relationships. But isn’t it remarkable that in your case, those memories and emotions were not in vain, because….when the time was right, you used them to convey something beautiful to your readers?


    P.S. My 3 favorite Rafferty songs are “Baker Street”, “Right Down The Line”, and “Get it Right Next Time”.

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