Sunday, January 24, 2016


Day Dreams

Hand-knit mohair sweater
Still a treasure,
though an outgrown style. 

Sugar-coated jelly slices
Stuck between the teeth,
don’t smile. 

Oral fireworks of
Nehi Orange-Ade
on a first date. 

Teen memories bear weight,
Adults cannot carry,
and nothing can replace. 


You are but once sweet sixteen.

When I wrote this poem, my mind was on all things orange. As a pre-teen, I loved the color orange. Indulged, I had orange tweed carpeting and orange curtains in my bedroom. I liked orange food: orange Jell-O; orange push-ups; those orange jelly slices coated with sugar; orange sherbet ice cream. 

Mom knit an orange mohair sweater for me, which I treasured. I still have the sweater. It is in storage, though, so I can’t take a picture to show you. The collar is ribbed, about four inches wide. That sweater definitely gave me confidence! 

I also loved orange soda pop: first Nehi orange-ade, then Orange Crush. 

Memories of such simple pleasures can become overpowering. In my youth, I took so much for granted, never imagining the sacrifice of others or fully considering the love involved in fulfilling the wishes of children. As a result, these memories are best left for only infrequent visits. Slowly unwrapped and examined, then rewrapped with fresh white tissue paper and returned to storage. 

Over time and aging, the edges wear smooth. Thoughts develop a patina to shield one from the burden and weight of memory. Then, after the heavy burden of young perception is completely lifted, the mature mind can revisit and more fully appreciate what was. The soft feel of mohair is vivid; thoughts of sugary-sweet orange slices don’t hurt the teeth; fizzing sounds have fingers searching for a bottle of pop. 

We are but once sixteen. We can be forever young.




  1. I had a love for the orange dream-cicles our ice cream man brought. So yummy!

  2. Always loved those! Called them cream-cicles. Real ice cream back when a kid didn't know it wouldn't last forever.


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