Tragedy in Eight Tracks by Janet Reed
We 70s children miscalculated.
We thought green shag carpets,
baby blue Pintos, and 8-track tapes
would survive the fire and rain of our love trains
We danced the Crocodile Rock,
Inhaled, rocked leisure suits and platform shoes
go-go boots and hotpants in double knit.
Cheap weed, black lights, dead heads
Skynard and Freebird, free base, free lunch--
we walked into those parties forever young.
We held time in a bottle and diamonds
glazed the skies of our disco balls.
We smoked in the boy’s room,
held the feeling, kept believing
we had our fathers’ tigers by the tails,
their black ties bricks in our walls.
Even if someone saves my life tonight,
these lyrics slur worse on repeat
than a drunk on a 2 a.m. bender.
Moral Moon Boots are pastiche
without catharsis we didn’t find,
“Stayin’ Alive” on compact disc
blew the breakers, darkened our discos.
Not even Goodwill wants our polyester.
Plastics 1,3,6, and 7 cause cancer.
Those tigers have us in their teeth.
Time is an hourglass not a bottle:
the truth we didn’t learn bites us.
Janet Reed is a recent second-place winner in Common Ground Review’s poetry contest judged by Patrick Donnelly and a 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Chiron Review, Common Ground Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Avalon Review, I-70 Review, and others. She is at work on her first collection and teaches writing and literature for Crowder College in Missouri.
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