Learn More

Don Tiedemann

Rookie - 51 Points (2/23/1950 / Baltimore, Md)

My Brother's First Girlfriend


Her father owned a row home
on Sollers Point road
just like all the other
row homes owned
by the hourly working men
in the steel-making town
of Dundalk. A Summer evening
and she and my big brother, as
always, are there in the front room,
silent in the lamplight and still shy
in each others presence.

As it darkens, boys from
the county ball fields cycle
past. Next door the man laid off
by the shipyard watches the light
fall and strokes his dog. He has
no qualms living on the dues
he paid for thirty five years.

Late season fireflies rise
at their leisure from grass
grown shaggy in a week
of rain. The wind brings a faint hum
and a clanging from the mills
at Sparrows Point. Otherwise
it is quiet when the southeast
sky explodes from hot slag dumped
in Bear Creek. Dishes rattle
and the sky glows perdition
red. Noone even looks up.

At home life plays out on
the screen porch surrounded by
forsythia and lit
by the blue-gray light of
the TV. My father opens
his third pack of the day.
My mother is next to him.
She hates the smoke but does
not yet hate her second marriage.
My younger brother is inside practicing
Good Night Ladies on the trumpet.
He does not yet hate his life.

I am headed home riding on
the downhill part of Sollers Point
Road, easy in Summer that
asks for so little. As the silhouettes
of my brother and the girl
are easy in the window and
their quiet proximity. As
all Dundalk is easy in the flow
of molten steel and union money.

Memory can contain paradise
but not the loss of it.
The shipyards are rusting monuments.
The steel mills have crossed the sea.
None of us can say just when
the story turned, when our lives
began to burn, when time hit
the ditch, but that Summer in
Dundalk came before. It was
the Garden. We were still there.
All of us. In the beginning.

Submitted: Saturday, February 26, 2011
Edited: Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (My Brother's First Girlfriend by Don Tiedemann )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie - 0 Points Brian Purdy (1/7/2012 9:10:00 AM)

    A special poem, Don. Sensory detail builds this era, this scene, this life which your folks and you lived, datum by datum, sensation by sensation, until everything is filled in - then you take it away from us. This leaves a sense of loss that anyone who reads this poem ought be able to feel in the roots of their bones. I did. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. As a patient salesman, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  2. To Whom I Owe All, Zion Odeyemi
  3. just like hope, Cee Bea
  4. How? - كيف ؟, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  5. How? - كيف ؟, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  6. How? - كيف ؟, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  7. How? - كيف ؟, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  8. Sound Of Splashing Water, Poetic Lilly Emery
  9. The Walk, Hazel Connelly
  10. Going Home, Joseph Narusiewicz

Poem of the Day

poet Ralph Waldo Emerson

Knows he who tills this lonely field
To reap its scanty corn,
What mystic fruit his acres yield
At midnight and at morn?

In the long sunny afternoon,
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  5. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  6. Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  9. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  10. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]