a poem by Leif Phillips, Australia - poetry writer, author, poet

I remember my first beard, as it were
fluff they called it, the kind ones
others adding another word
and yet I was young
and my music was loud
so these disparaging remarks
remained unheard
for the most part,
I remember my first love
how she said I was finer than china
smarter than a pressed suit
and cute to boot
making me feel all good inside
we liked the same music
listened to cassettes all day
her mother would watch us
in a window she would hide,
I remember my first car
how well it would drive
my father picked it out
in the hope
that a safe car would help me survive
the inadequacies of youth
and I admit now
within a brighter age of truth
he’s the reason I’m alive,
I remember lastly, my first day
at a job I knew nothing of
a carpenters assistant
chipping out tenon joints
a loving touch to odd dowel
mostly, running errands for tradesmen
placing bets at the bookie
getting the lunches right
or having to go back again,
I loved my youth
and as for the rest
I have to admit
it hasn’t been too foul.

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