Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Just Seventeen

Driving the back road to the mall,
I pass a '55 Chevvy two tone,
and suddenly it is 1964
and I am opening the passenger door
and climbing in:
thick scent of talcum powder,
guy with an oily duck tail, 
T-shirt sleeve rolled up, 
bulging over his cigarette pack,
"She Was Just Seventeen" on the radio,
and off we go into a moment
that will surface so clearly
I can smell the powder,
fifty years later,
what it was
to be
Just Seventeen.

for Kerry's prompt at Real Toads: 
to incorporate a flashback into a poem


  1. My wife's dad had a 55 Chevy Belair. same colors, really...eerie! oooOOOooooOOO!

  2. Oh, this is wonderful, Sherry. The descent into memory - isn't it amazing how strongly we remember smell and texture? Seventeen is such an age, and over soooo quickly.

  3. .. as do I. My best friend's father had a 55 Chevy ~~ a convertible. He actually let us take it out from time to time. We were so cool. (or so we thought)

  4. This made me smile, great flashback.

  5. Sherry, such a great flashback & great timing for this 50th year celebrating the Beatles invasion! :)

  6. Loved this, Sherry. It almost brought tears remembering by buddy who was burned to death in his 1957 Chevy in a gas station fire.

    I flashed back myself with your writer (yourself?). My 1952 Ford hot-rodded would outrun the '55 ands '56 Chevys and we would all check our cars out on the unfinished Interstate at the edge of town.

    Later in the year I traded for a 1956 Ford convertible, new. When I was drafted my Army pay, soon with three dependents' allotment, would not cover car payments. I down traded it for a paid for 1950 Jimmy Dean Mercury. Food stamps were not even a figment in anyone's imagination, back then. Now the GI's can afford a car with a food stamp payment (buy groceries) subsidy.

  7. Love. I can imagine you in that setting.

  8. Great use of the sciences here: songs, smell, fashions all centred around a dam fine car.

  9. You make it real, Sherry. Those cars are a flashback every time I see one--remind me of my grandfather, who I'm afraid was the only one who took me driving in one. ;_)

  10. On the school bus I road with 2 brothers who used to argue when they saw an old Chevy whether it was a 55 or a 57. The older brother was right, not that it matters - always kinds preferred the 55 myself.

  11. This is great! Funny how those details persist throughout the years.

  12. nice, Sherry! though you've got a song here, and a good one, too, now I have Janis Ian playing in my head. not a bad thing :)

  13. Love sparks my own memories of old cars and The Beatles

  14. Super well done Sherry! Very charming and very real! Thanks! k manicddaily

  15. Scent has such power to invoke memory, the tang of what it's like to be young and wild and free ... Great flashback here. It reminds me that in some ways we'll always be Just Seventeen.

  16. Scent memories! My favorite!
    Nice capture of a moment in time!

  17. great flashback...the beautiful seventeen....can almost smell, touch and feel the age through your lines...

  18. 17- we thought we had it all, didn't we? You evoked it perfectly here.

  19. I can smell it too. You sat middle of the car, right?

  20. smiles - I can see your own grin, too, Sherry ~

  21. Your capture and transition into present is so smooth, Sherry. What a vivid flashback...well written. :)


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