Two poems · Lori Kean

On The Edge Of Childhood

It was the 70's.
Americans were still dying in Vietnam
when my brother and I stood in tandem
on the outer edge of childhood.
Crazy TV Lenny was giving away bikes
with purchases from his semi-famous
football field sized television and appliance store.
A huge and curious success was Lenny in the 70's -
everyone I knew had a bike from his place.
Mine was Baby Blue.
On Saturday nights in summer
at precisely midnight on the late night horror show
he hollered out his low-low deals
from a fuzzy 19 inch set
while gamma men stalked the perimeters of our porch
and the mummy slumped in wait behind a door
that never latched quite right.
We hunched beneath our blanket, my brother and me,
vulnerable and frightened and riveted,
mechanically feeding our mouths popcorn
with fingers that dripped innocence.
Several years after Lenny’s late night horror stint
Lenny's wife divorced him.
She demanded a bike in the settlement.
My brother and I had ridden off by then,
our child selves left behind on the porch
staring out the window at figures
getting smaller and blacker in the shadows -
one headed in this direction, the other in that,
still vulnerable and frightened and riveted.

Country Boy Meets City Girl

She was completely uptown cosmopolitan.
He wasn’t even G, let alone Q.
He let his introvert sleep one morning
while she did a curvaceous finger walk
along the spine of his conscience with
the soft touch of her x- chromosomes
massaging his dinosaur shyness to ruins.

And she looked good in his flannel shirt.