Charlie's Place

Misty dew-dropped memories seep
like secret smiles on youthful cheeks
brightened by the dusk's red sky
shining on a youthful eye

tripping down on gravelled pathways
towards the place where teen youths gather
dancing Thriller, zombie grooves
toeing moon dance pop king moves

Shooting pool, in laughing halls
breaking up the marble balls
pacman sings happy lament
to chocolate milk and cola drink

Quiet man behind the counter
smiling at a young boy's saunter
gentle woman gives advice
in a sweet familiar voice

Days gone by, teenage history
Quiet man now knows the mystery
gentle woman takes his hand
serenaded by the Thriller man.

When the news of Michael Jackson's death was reported an old friend of mine contacted me and told me she first thought of me, and all the times we walked to "Charlie's" which was the local pool hall and hangout in our hometown when I was a teen.

My teen years are filled with memories of that place, I can picture it now as if I were there, Charlie and Mae, behind the counter, selling cigarettes two for a quarter, candy, chips, pop.

They were ever patient and infinitely kind and sweet. Mae passed a way a few years ago and today Charlie followed. Suddenly I'm transported to the early eighties to a place where only memories can take me, and with the passing of Charlie it's as though that little memory, of dancing all the way to Charlies, reenacting Thriller with my girlfriends, has been wrapped and folded neatly and sealed in a gilded envelope and filed away in a special place now, as if my teen years have been stamped in the upper right hand corner, ready to mail into that difinite infinity I too will travel one day. RIP Charlie and Godspeed.

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April said…
This is a beautiful tribute to your memories as well as to Charlie and Mae. Your poem gave me a little taste of your teenage experience...sounds like it was a cozy, homey place.
Sylvia said…
What inspirational poem! Takes me back to my teenage years too (such a long time ago). Seems that all those awesome places where I used to meet with my friends are closed now (but it's so good to remember!)
Thank you for reviving this experience in my heart.
Sorry for your Charlie and Mae.
Debbie said…
as always you touched my heart....
Shadow said…
beautiful memories exquisitely expressed.