The Saturday Poem: A New Shirt

The Summer of Love

The Summer of Love


In the Shangri-La of San Francisco
they called it The Summer of Love,

tuning in and dropping out
to a soundtrack of spacey guitars.

Bookish, shy, and too young
for a droopy moustache and sideburns,

I was hothoused instead by Hayes
for the maths I was taking early,

but got a hint of something else
in Scott Mckenzie’s anthem.

Against her better judgment,
my mother allowed me to pick a shirt.

– A bright yellow shocker
with a floppy, extravagant collar,

it didn’t survive the first lesson
before they sent me home

to dream on at the back of the bus
of topless Haight-Ashbury girls,

whose painted bodies sway
to airborne waves of music.

David Cooke’s collections include A Slow Blues: New and Selected Poems (High Windows Press) and recently After Hours (Cultured Llama Publishing)