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Vincent Spina: Homage to the Fifties

In the Fifties most of the years
were the summer Johnny Ray
walked his baby back home and cried
when your sweet-heart says good-bye
 
and it was no secret that all young girls
of the world were Loretta—who 
one day became “Big Loretta” as she grew
in innocence and age—and Gloria—
whom we called “Polack” for she was the only blond
in our ripe-olive colored family album
of passage and remembrance—and
 
that they spent hours rocking in WWII
naval hammocks in the shade of once
tall black walnut trees, crazy in love
with Johnny Ray, whose songs came through
AM radios or were played on Saturday
afternoon jukeboxes when they could hold
his imaginary head in their ever
maturing laps and run their fingers
through the waves of his Fifties hairdo
as in a time
 
when all the women of the world were cousins
Gloria and Loretta, except young aunts—waiting
for husbands, who were the vets, to return
from toiling in dark cities—and young mothers
who baked whole worlds left in ashes back 
to being as they labored at the center
of simply being         and all 
 
the boy cousins were Pauly, Johnny and Vinny,
each of whom was nearing or rounding eleven
and were one person in a trinity
of expectation and longing and crazy
to fathom the mystery that powered
the ripening world of their cousins
Pollock and Big Loretta, who,
 
crazy in love, continued like the flow
of a small and quiet river, hoping
one day to console a little white cloud
that cried at the end of another river.

Copyright 2021 Vincent Spina

Johnny Ray (1927 – 1990) was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Highly popular for most of the 1950s, Ray has been cited by critics as a major precursor to what became rock and roll, for his jazz and blues-influenced music, and his animated stage personality. (Wikipedia)

One comment on “Vincent Spina: Homage to the Fifties

  1. Barbara Huntington
    June 10, 2021

    I remember while I coveted the doggie in the window and cried a river.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on June 10, 2021 by in Poetry and tagged , , .

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