you can never step twice into the same river

a girl I used to be
slipped into tiny spaces
dodged between cars
got places early
was never tired

a girl I used to be
wore jodhpurs in the street
and tight jeans when she wasn't working

at a traffic light a nun said to her
what a beautiful face you have
I will pray for you
she replied
and I for you, Sister

she never paid for a drink
she never waited on line
she never packed
she had clean undies and a lipstick in her purse
she was ready for anything

gods and spirits watched over her
trees sheltered her
the Norse god of mischief
the Greek god of music
the One True God smiled at their silliness and held her in His hand

sometimes I think I've seen her
reflected in a mirror, a store window
and I look around
but of course
that girl never stopped to look

that girl never looked back


  1. Superb, Gave me the chills. Was the food subsumed in the worst jet lag ever.

    1. Thank you.
      I've been trying to do food posts but clothes have been v. tight since we got back, & it's a little depressing. "To come," as they say

  2. To me it sounds like you are lamenting your fleeting youth. Maybe that is just my personal perspective as I just "celebrated" a birthday this past week. If so, you are not alone. Maybe instead you were observing your good fortune in life. In any case, I enjoyed your poem and it is great to read a new post from you. Hope all is well.

    1. Thank you! I recently had dinner with an old family friend - quite old, he came ashore on D-Day - and I've realized that I'm saying goodbye a lot these days.

  3. What a beautiful and poignant poem. I love the last lines:
    'that girl never stopped to look
    that girl never looked back'
    I think that reflection and wistful nostalgia are missing in our young years.
    I wonder at what point we do start to look back?

  4. Love this! So beautifully poignant and fresh all at the same time! I used to miss the young girl but now I realize she is always with me and I try to live up to her!

  5. I do remember wriggling into the tightest jeans possible in my youth. Now, tight years means diet time. Very beautiful poem. My children, young adults now, just keep looking forward. I however, spend quite a bit reflecting. Spot on baby.

  6. Lovely.

    "Girl looking back" has another meaning to me, highlighting the differences between my girls. We've dropped them off at airports a lot; one walks away,smiling and throwing kisses until she is past security. I always wait for the other quiet introvert until she is out of sight, but she never looks back.

  7. Oh memories! Thankfully I created many of them in my younger, single youth. Love this and love all the comments!

    1. thank you, Gigi, I'm sitting here just loving on my readers.

  8. Oh, I'm tearing up here. The good old days! Now I feel as if I am invisible. Youth - it went by so fast and I didn't appreciate it. Quoting Van Halen "you better use it up before you get old, baby". Yeah, well. Guess I should have taken Dave's advice a little more than I did.

  9. Ah, how wonderful, to relive that girl.

    Of course, that girl could be a bit nuts, too. But that doesn't mean that I don't miss her!


  10. Poignant. WFF, you should find a publisher. I think God gives use failing vision as we age to protect us from too many reflections.

    1. thank you, KnitYarns.
      at times I think my vision has gotten sharper with age.

  11. I am at a loss, since this really resonates with me in many ways. Thank you for writing this, Fred.


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