14

by Thomas Davis

On Friday nights I’d work all day, then walk
home from the office where two teenaged girls
were streaming past their mother with their talk
about this boy, this girl, their endless whirl
of friend, near-friend relationships that bloomed
and changed like clothing changed from day to day.

The minute that I touched the door excitement spumed
as I gulped down a meal before Green Bay—
and then we drove for forty country miles
to where two girls could dance and laugh to songs
and show that small town girls had mastered styles
that big town girls would envy all night long.

I sat inside a dinghy Burger King
and read while daughters spread their teen club wings.

Note: This sonnet was published earlier on fourwindowspress.

11 Comments

Filed under Poetry, Thomas Davis

11 responses to “14

  1. “If one can’t enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”—–Oscar Wilde

    I say the same for a good poem like this one, Thomas. I’m glad you practice the necessary art of re-posting, otherwise some of us johnny-come-lately’s would be missing out. Thank you!

  2. A snapshot moment that speaks volumes in the way it conjures a number of other moments, remembered, observed or imagined, sprinkled across the tapestry of our collected lives.

  3. I don’t remember this Tom so Im pleased you posted it. I love the theme running through of parenthood and teenagers; I remember it well. And as always you capture an atmosphere so easily, well it seems as though its easy for you It may not be!

    A question – are sonnets not supposed to have titles? My writing group tutor has a book of sonnets published which I bought and none have titles and I notice this is just numbered.

    • Christine, this is part of a long sonnet sequence that I wrote while Ethel’s and my son, Kevin, was in the process of dying and during the time shortly after his death. Normally sonnets are named. However, in long sonnet sequences, such as Shakespeare’s famous sequence, or Sir Phillip Sydney’s, or even Elizabeth Browning’s, the sonnets are often numbered rather than titled. There were forty-four sonnets that I wrote in this sequence, which makes it a rather short sequence, but I am also not sure I have finished writing it.

  4. Ina

    14 .. at that age, boys are getting important! I think you must have been great with your daughters, taking them places (and read while they had fun) ! 🙂

    • Ina, I’ve wondered, really, just how good a father I really was. I tried hard, I believe, but I was also busy way too often. Still, both girls really ended up as outstanding human beings. Both are teachers, and both are good teachers.

  5. Oh Ive just seen Ina’s comment., the title is 14 meaning age 14!! 😊 I thought it was just number 14!

  6. This shows no greater love that of a father to spend Friday night after a long week , sitting in Burger King while his girls “live it large!! ” 😉

  7. Thanks very much for clarifying Tom. Im still onky on sonnet number three in my endeavours but Im really enjoying the form and as always, look forward to more of yours .

  8. Always enjoy your sonnets, and this one in particular. Quick question: “dinghy” or “dingy” Burger King? I rather like the image that came to mind with the former.

  9. I love this, Thomas – a father reading in a Burger King, patiently waiting while his daughters were being teenagers at a dance. This poem touched me, thank you for re-posting.

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