From my parent’s bedroom window upstairs,
I had a clear view of Monument Drive
as it wound into our neighborhood.
So I could see the headlights from any car
that was heading toward us.
Like your car used to,
on so many nights after school.

So after we broke up, I would stand in that room,
on so many nights after school,
and look out the window,
and wait for your headlights.
You’d be coming back,
I was sure of it.
Seventeen-year-olds are sure of a lot of things.

We were going different directions
after graduation.
You were the first to see that
and it scared you,
and you withdrew.
I didn’t understand, and reacted like the young boy
that I really was.
You needed more than a young boy.
Even now I’m sorry I couldn’t have been more.

Funny that I still think about you –
so many years have passed.
My thinking about you always makes me smile,
and I wonder how you think of me,
if you think of me at all.
I wonder if you remember how close
we would hold each other,
listening to Boz Skaggs singing
“We’re All Alone” on the tape deck of my father’s car
at our secret place to park.
“Once a story’s told,
it can’t help but grow old,
roses do, lovers too…”

Twice you saved my life.
If not for you I would have been
in that car with Mike the night he was killed.
And then you held my hand,
and my heart,
and walked me through the pain,
saving me again.
How does one thank somebody for that?

You taught me about love.
Or maybe we learned together.
I have loved since,
but is there a love that
compares with one’s first?
Is there a love that teaches as much?
We were just seventeen.
I was sure that as I got older
none of it would really matter.
Seventeen-year-olds are sure of a lot of things.


So… just browsing the archives, and imagine, I come across this piece. After reading it, imagine my suprise that no one, no one, left a comment. I mean, wow. You really rub life in our faces rainey. This one is like a hammock you’ve built for your reader to lounge in.

(Oh, and you asked but I never answered, no, I don’t actually dream of elephants. Though sometimes I use them as metaphors in poetry. I compensate for lack of life lived, dreamed, with imaginary dreams. How crazy is that? That’s rhetorical, don’t answer. : )

Ah, TUM. I wish you knew how gratifying it is for me that you dug this one up and deemed it worth commenting on.

Thanks, my friend. (And keep dreaming).

Wow, TUM, you get credit for digging this gem of Rainey’s up and deserve mad kudos for doing so.

Rainey, I know I’ve said this at least a zillion times already, but you are possibly my fav poet who posts on this site. Every time I isolate on a single poem of yours as my abso-fav, I discover another one which deserves at least as much props if not more.

Being in my mid-30s now, I can really relate to this poem – especially with the repeated refrain "Seventeen-year-olds are sure of a lot of things. " which kinda reminds me of that Bob Seger line “I wish I didn’t know now / what I didn’t know then” in a roundabout way.

Thnx, Rainey, for writing and posting this excellent poem; and, thnx also, TUM, for exhuming it from this ILP forum’s potters’ field where it was buried prematurely and thus undeservedly overlooked.


The best creation of a character I have seen outside of publication.
By the end one not only identifies but ones’ mind follows the path of the characters life for eternity in the climax of reading.
Regretfully unfulfilled in the most beautiful way. :frowning: :slight_smile: :smiley: =D> :frowning:

Thanks for the nice words, guys.

Nels, I always appreciate your encouragement. I like that Seger line. Bob Dylan had a good one I also appreciate: I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.

Tertiary, thanks and welcome. I like what I’ve read of yours so far. I do have to say, however, that I’ve become a bigger fan of free verse over time. I find I can write closer to the heart without the constraints of rhyme and meter. But rhyme and meter can often be clever and witty. I look forward to reading more of you here.

Meanwhile, this was not so much a creation of character, unless you want to count the poet as a character. This was an autobiographical piece, a companion piece to a poem entitled Mike I posted around here someplace. Just some reminiscences from my senior year of high school, many, many years ago.

Thanks again everybody.

That explains why It was so good… if you run at a canvass people will see a person. I’m still experimenting with style to find the most natural flow from my fingertips to paper ships. I will post my favourite poem next then. called: Agoraphilia green+pink+green. Funny, actually listening to a dylan song sung by jack white Death Letter. Ilos myself in it. great.

Hope to impress. A task you have performed along with the other poem writers(I know what he means to write poems, I know not what it is to be a poet)( btw do you know who said that, been bugging me) on the site.

My anonymity is blown. How did you learn of my real name Rainey? who told you? or did I blow my own cover by leaving my real name absentmindedly in a reply to one of your earlier posts?

Kool Bob Dylan cross-reference. Every line of Robert Z’s is golden. In fact, I think the albums he’s put out over the last decade now since, and including, ‘Time Out Of Mind’ are some of the strongest material he’s released throughout his career both lyrically and musically – up there with the classics like ‘Freewheelin’', ‘Highway 61 Revisited’, ‘Blood On The Tracks’, ‘Nashville Skyline’… just to name a few. He went thru an average at-best period in the 80s when he was just mailing in the lines. Still, an avg Dylan album is leagues better than most anyone else’s most stellar effort.


I really like the ‘Horsemen…’ and ‘…guillotine string…’ lines of yours.


Certainly are. ‘The first cut…’.