The silver screen,
now dull gray, but still bright,
with Bogart and Bacall.
“You know how to whistle, don’t you?”
Screen torn, never fixed,
right on the corner
by the apple green neon exit sign
where I snuck in countless times.
Right where I like to sit,
in the dark, reflections of light,
filtered through celluloid,
snapping by at 24 frames a second.
Framed in noir shadows, and
bathed in limelight.
Third row, second seat.
Favorite spot despite
the sticky floor from dozens,
upon dozens, of spilled Cokes.
Like the one I spilled on her
first date, first kiss, first grope.
“Here’s looking at you kid.”
“Please put your feet down,”
flashed the usher with his light
Down from the torn up seats
to the strata of confections
layered on the carpet floor.
Milk Duds, Dots, and popcorn.
Outside the art-deco spire rises high,
Skyward, with sleek lines and words.
The marquee sings the title of
the next picture show.
“I’m ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille.”
The theater darkens.
Ah love, let us be true to one another.
For the multiplexes of tomorrow
Will have neither joy, nor life,
nor love, nor style.
And we’ll be there
in that darkened theater,
Swept with confused alarms
of struggle and flight.
Where computer generated armies
Clash by night.
Seems like only yesterday
She looks at me and I’m washed over by smiles.
A telling little look that’s not just a smirk.
Run, run, skip, jump, to the lawn.
Where she loves to spread her wings and fly.
Over the trees, swoops down.
Like a diver off a springboard.
“On your mark, get set, GO!”
Tries to catch the little boy in front.
I wish she would remain this age forever.
A tiny version of her mother.
Better than the two of us combined.
Your only a kid once, run, run, skip, jump.
A time in which little matters.
All that matters are her dolls.
A collection of friends.
Wardrobes better than Saks Fifth Avenue.
And a day at the park with her daddy.
Where she would race everyone, until she won.
Holding her hand, wanting not to let go.
“The park?,” I ask.
“Another time, going to the mall.”
Flocking with friends,
Giggle, giggle, shop, drop.
Passes me by in the hall.
“Where are you going?”
“The mall, jeez.”
“Don’t you have homework?”
Into thoughts of the past I delve.
When she wanted to hold my hand.
Doesn’t want to be seen with me now.
“Drop me off at the mall, but not in the front.
My friends will see you.”
New friends, old ones ignored.
I knew this day would come.
But so soon?