Patti Masterman

Before The Light Runs Out - Poem by Patti Masterman

I must have insisted on a sixties birth-
Born right on the cusp of that pivotal year,
A May flower child, too young for the drugs
The sex, the rock and roll orgies;
But I revelled in that decade,
I felt old enough for that stuff, even if I didn't look it.
Cheap plastic transistor radio, at three years of age
I listened to it day and night till it broke
And squawked till they bought me another.
My own bedroom television set, small black and white;
I was plugged in at an early age.
I felt full grown inside by nine years old.
I remember the Vietnam evening news
Bloodied bodies being shoved into helicopters
By sweating men with camouflage faces
And police and students battling on campuses.
Back then there were the warm summers
Spent in bathing suits, at the lake:
Hiking, modeling life sized sand people on the beach
Checking for the footprints that always cut through them.
Floppy sun hat, eating ice cream bars,
The ever present radio in the background behind everything
Infusing the ether with plastic airborne emotion.
Swimming for hours; devouring whole the thunderstorms
Sizzling air and rain dampened cyclones.
The sun gleamed over the waves, straight into my eyes:
Filling me with enough sunshine for my simple needs.
I was the tree voyeur, climbing high into the cool leafiness
To read, watch life going by; silent and invisible hours there
Imagining it might be like this, if I wasn't around anymore,
Only to crawl back down and become real again.
I think I needed that carefree life
All the other kids couldn't grow up fast enough
But I knew I would never again have this much freedom.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, April 11, 2010

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