by M. A. Schaffner

It was easier then to be young because
my knees didn’t ache and my back didn’t slope
alarmingly forward into a small screen
opening on a weirdly interesting world.

In those days birds spoke and honeysuckle
opened in competition with the store’s
little wax bottles of sugar water.
There were no boundaries between back yards.

But privacy counts for something, as does soap,
and a car in which to dream of other lands.
There are no curfews not self-inflicted
nor indulgences forbidden, except
those one got tired of, or finally found
too toxic to sustain, however sweet.

M. A. Schaffner has work recently published or forthcoming in The Hollins Critic, Magma, Tulane Review, Gargoyle, and The Delinquent. Other writings include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels, and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia or the 19th century.

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