“Seventeen” by Adrian S. Potter

Those were better days for everybody
we knew. Electric guitars groaned

 their inherent blues, spilling secrets
we’ve since forgotten. Rain arrived

 in spring and lingered around longer
than desired. Even the stars had a job,

to remind us how nothing dies as slow
as the light of our youth. I confess:

 I never understood what the guitars
were saying, the reasons why logic

 felt flawed, the purpose of our mistakes.
Regrets piled up like trash in the streets.

I let down defenses, ignored the obvious
truths, spent late nights seeking trouble

in the wrong places, just like everyone else.
We weren’t broken, yet; that was the riddle

we needed to solve. Hearts open, parched
throats begging for booze we couldn’t buy

while adults sneered at our defiant spirits,
secretly wishing they still possessed them.

 —

Adrian S. Potter writes poetry and short fiction. He is the author of the fiction chapbook Survival Notes (Červená Barva Press, 2008) and winner of the 2010 Southern Illinois Writers Guild Poetry Contest. Some publication credits include North American Review, Obsidian and Kansas City Voices. He blogs, sometimes, at http://adrianspotter.com/.

 

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