Sunday, August 20, 2017

Generation


At the neighborhood pool party,
finally with a kid,
my husband with the baby stroller
on the edge of the parking lot,
I wander past tables of pot-luck sides and superhero cupcakes
for the little boy with a medical condition
and a GoFundMe page.

A live band, one member used to live here, is playing a cover of
"Boys of Summer," a cover of a cover --
the more recent one
that says "Black Flag sticker" instead of a Deadhead one --
the one for our generation;
and I think about how, for once, I feel my age.
For once I can feel that people like me are replacing our parents.

The HOA is co-sponsoring the party:
moon bounce, face painting, pony rides, bubble machine.
I feel like a character in some John Cheever short story
about stifling suburbia, parents sneaking cocktails by the pool
and longing, always longing;
the notion was fresh in Cheever's time but is now beyond stale.
Still, though, I feel it.
Some things never change.

"I can see you... your brown skin shining in the sun...
I see you walkin' real slow and you're... smilin' at everyone."

I'm wearing a sundress over a bikini, and I'm
"walkin' real slow and smilin' at everyone," and I feel
as if someone should be watching,
as if I should be someone's dreamgirl, some yearned-for crush;
but I am married with a baby now,
and those days of bittersweet longing are over.

Still, though, I feel it.
Some things never change.

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