forever seventeen

for K Newton

Forever seventeen,
you visit my dreams where
television jingles for Fig Newtons
float your goofy smile.
In slo-mo freeze frame dreamscape,
we hike to the Devil’s Kitchen
beneath a screaming circling hawk.
I wake craving cookies.

Forever seventeen
at mountain keggers
your freckles dance high
on laughing cheeks
flushed from bonfires and beer.

You pile into your old man’s Buick with Edwina
and head to town for a pack of Marlboro’s and some munchies.
Turning sharp on South Davis,
the Buick tilts onto two wheels
between two landscaped maples
framing a family’s home.
The Buick meets the house
head on.
Edwina survives.

Thirty five years later
you still visit my dreams

Ooey gooey rich and chewy inside
golden cakey, tender flaky outside
wrap the inside in the outside
Is it good? Darn tootin!
It’s the Big Fig Newton!
here’s the tricky part…

forever seventeen.

Brenda Warren 2012

NaPoWriMo 18
a dozen remain

17 thoughts on “forever seventeen

    • Thank you, Irene. April is quickly becoming my favorite month. I love the connections made, and the camaraderie of NaPo. Our relationships amongst each other deepen. It doesn’t get much better than this…. Now a month long in person writing experience would be better….but not terribly feasible. 😉


    • Thank you, Pamela. No, the person I’ve written about before was my friend Dave. He was 50, so is “forever 50,” I suppose. Yesterday’s poem was dedicated to Dave. He is/was the supreme embellisher of stories. 🙂 Missing him is still close to the surface. This piece is about a good high school friend. Except when she comes up in dreams, the missing is mostly forgotten for me. I don’t imagine that it is for her parents.


  1. Brenda, this is so sad. A life snuffed out at 17. I can understand why this friend would live in your memory and your dreams. The jingle at the end…it sounds like the friend talking, and I can see him/her smiling! Some things one mourns forever, especially things that happen during those very vulnerable, yet innocent, teen years. This poem is one of my favorites of yours.


    • Thank you, Mary. Alcohol and teens are a bad mix. Try telling that to a teenager at a kegger up in the mountains under the stars. I’m happy that this is among your favorites. It is such a pleasure reading and writing with you this month. To April, I say yes! Of course, now I have to write yet another piece for tomorrow. 🙂


  2. I love your reference to the Fig Newton jingle, Brenda. So many of the moments of our lives are colored and marked by ads and jingles. Your poem really hit home. One of my brothers was killed in a car accident in 1974, when he was 25. He’s still in my dreams, forever young and handsome.


    • I’m so sorry about your brother, Marianne. That’s rough. As for the Fig Newton jingle, I sang it in the halls at my middle school today with one of my colleagues, Mr. Davey. Of course, the younger teachers had no clue what we were up to. We even remembered the “tricky part” move the fig did in the commercials. LOL It was fun and ridiculous.


  3. Forever Seventeen – yes, even when the digits are reversed. It’s amazing how we are defined by the jingles of our youth. And your poem evokes these splendidly. I really enjoyed it.


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