Me, You, the Poppy Family


Really? Did you have
a crush on Terry Jacks
at sixteen? Oh,
that curly black hair.

I wanted to be Susan
Jacks—was she his wife
or sister? The album
jackets don’t say. She
looked so Nancy Sinatra
in 1970. Had we known

each other, would we
have become lovers,
clumsily kiss to
“That’s Where I Went
Wrong.” Imagine breaking

up like the Poppy
Family, pursuing solo
careers, then finding
an old album in a Regina
resale shop—
Susan’s smiling face,
Terry’s sincere eyes,

all for a quarter: a few
scratches but not too warped.

Previously published in The Gay Review, a now defunct Canadian journal.

Kenneth Pobo won the Qarrtsiluni poetry chapbook contest for Ice And Gaywings. They published it in November 2011.

Object(s) to bring back to life: “My original copy of the Gettin’ Together album by Tommy James and the Shondells. I bought this album late in 1967 when I was 13. By then, I was a confirmed Tommy James fan. I still am. While the other kids were asking “Are You Experienced?” a la Jimi Hendrix, I handclapped and sang along with Tommy. The album cover has the group in a field in front of a cityscape (NYC?). That field looked relaxing. I pictured myself singing “Some Happy Day” under a blue sky, organ notes slipping up to the sky and carrying it down, gently, to my open hands. When CDs came in, I got rid of much of my vinyl. While this saves space, those album covers can’t be shrunk down to CD size without losing the initial impact. To think that I blithely tossed that album cover in the trash! It’s like I dumped some of my youth in with chicken bones and stale pie.”