I drove through Artesia, the city I was raised, a couple of days ago and was quite saddened. The “market” I stopped at on my way home from Faye Ross Junior High was boarded up. It was one of the few remaining landmarks from my childhood. Gone. George’s Market has been referenced in my poems before, and is representative of those carefree, Pop Rocks days. I suppose it’s fitting. As I’m growing as a poet, George has sent his well wishes and blessings, letting me know it’s okay to move on. I’ll miss you my friend…
Oh I remember you Jennifer Z.
Because you had twenty-five freckles on your nose
and sat seven chairs to my left
in Ms. Kollenduciak’s class,
but I forgot how to spell
your last name.
You were so pretty,
a sixth grade Belinda Carlisle
and I was so just there and shy
like an argyle sweater next to a
Members Only jacket.
I wanted to ask you
if you’d walk with me to George’s Market
which was actually a liquor store,
and suck on ten cent cherry Jolly Ranchers
while I walked you home.
But I probably wouldn’t have said suck
because it sounds kinda’ nasty,
even though one doesn’t really eat candy.
And I’d tell you to avoid eye contact
with the junior high Mexican boys
who hung out in front on their shiny beach cruisers,
because their textured hair
combed straight back,
black gangsta’ Locs,
and oversized white t-shirts
always scared me a little.
But I don’t know why I was scared
because once I rode in the back seat
of a Monte Carlo with one of those boys
and his mom was real nice.
I wanted to ask you if you’d be my girlfriend
hoping you’d somehow see,
I could keep you warmer
than a Members Only jacket.
Oh I remember you Jennifer Z,
Even if you’re Jennifer Someone Else now.