no boys allowed at the slumber party

All the girls that call themselves women
buzz like bees circling a bouquet
because the topic turns to love,
to true love, to the love of your life
& how they knew they found it
& with whom.

I am suddenly 16, when we
spent hours on the telephone
questioning the significance of a smile,
a nod, or even a hello
from the boy with blue eyes,
or the boy with dark eyes
with the smile that spread slow & delicious
as warm caramel poured over vanilla ice cream
& our unkissed lips
would part in bubblegum-flavored sighs
of expectation.

Are we still there, then,
hovering on the cusp of loving
& fainting with it,
or have we all learned
how sweet certain kisses taste
& how one touch from the right man, even the heat of his palm
on the small of the back is sometimes

Yes, I am far past
spreading emotions on the floor
& rolling in them
like a cat in sunlight
for all to see–this feeling
this knowing they revel in & share
like the girls they were & still are
has become for me
something to savor in silence

& is the reason for my smile.

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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16 Responses to no boys allowed at the slumber party

  1. From the the present, then a shuttle in time…and back to the present! Beautiful poem. I see no nostalgia, just a poet with a vivid memory and great narrative skill who recalling the past and the spontaneity with which experiences were lived and shared, and who now with time and experience has disciplined those expreriences and the sharing of them and who now barely restrains herself from judging the women-girls still flourishing in that model in the present in her presence! (I love long sentences!)
    By the way, do we really outgrow these tendencies of our youth? “An old woman is never old when the favorite rhythm of her youth begins to play”! – Igbo proverb

    • Noel–Love the proverb 🙂

      Hope the poem did not come across as judging–I was seeing it as more of my friends’ ability to share every second of their experiences with each other, still free to be (to use your word) undisciplined with one another. Maybe it’s because I roll around on the floor with my emotions so much in my poetry, and to a much wider audience, if you think about it (!) that I don’t share like this! Oh wait–I can say it is my art and retreat behind my persona–my friends are actually more honest than I am. Is the woman who plays her cards close to her chest humming “I’ve got a secret and I’m not telling,” when she falls in love any more mature than the girl who tells all? Nah 🙂 It’s all that same giddy fun and thank the Lord we do not ever outgrow it…..

  2. nelle says:

    Provocative to thought… I’d say possessing the ability to share without inhibition, but making a willing choice to do so or not carries with it inner strength and freedom, and with it, control over one’s circumstance.

  3. Rhonda says:

    I treasure the “secret smiles”! They are for one and one only. Love it!

  4. I’ve never had a slumber party feeling and those young love sentiments~ Your descriptions cause me a little girl yearning and beauty of innocence ~ I’m grateful we’re mildly crazy too. 🙂

  5. Mr. Walker says:

    Susan, a delightful read. You have a way with those free verse line breaks. I like how the smile in the second stanza returns at the end – and different, “savored in silence”.


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