Dollar hoagies, truthfully not very good,
filled with bologna, the rolls a bit soggy,
but for a time, as much a Friday night ritual as Sabbath candles
and braided loaves.
we usually met at J.and I.’s house—
because they had a house–
and then children.
We were young, with budgets of newlyweds,
beginning teachers, and graduate students,
just learning to be adults,
we could afford those sandwiches,
but not much more,
well, beer, too, of course,
though I didn’t drink it,
and potato chips.
sometimes we had pizza,
which I preferred,
and there was a place that sold mussels, too–
C.’s face when she tasted them—
an expression of bemused disgust
documented in a photo somewhere.
in the summer, we sometimes went for ice cream
from a local stand, a wooden structure
with lines of people in shorts and flip flops,
returning to the house with cups of dripping sweetness,
cream and hot fudge, the taste
blending with the scent of summer blooms, eaten with
the sound of crickets chirping in the yard.
Friday nights, getting together to discuss the week,
we talked the way old friends do,
shedding our pretentious like shoes
to walk barefooted,
talking and laughing,
C. discussed the pregnant teens she worked with,
I told of the latest discoveries from the archives,
eighteenth-century stories of sex–
the stocking warmed and dangled before the fire
by the woman who wanted to excite her older lover?
Yes, C. still laughs about that one.
we laughed over everything
and we laughed over nothing,
but as the years went on,
and we all had children, jobs, schedules,
it became more difficult to get together,
“the lost years,” a friend calls them.
Now we’ve resumed the friendships that were never truly gone,
just dormant for a while,
like bulbs buried in the ground to emerge as flowers
when the conditions are right.
And yet, I remember those Friday nights vividly,
when we ate dollar hoagies
and we were young.
NaPoWriMo, Day 29. Today’s Challenge: “to write a poem based on things you remember. Try to focus on specific details, and don’t worry about whether the memories are of important events, or are connected to each other.”