By Marian Glaser, © June, 1997
By the time James was seventeen his body was grown.
His muscles bulged.
His beard sprouted,
his hormones surged.
He stared at the mirror each day, wondering
if his pimply face would ever
settle down into handsomeness.
He doubted it
in spite of his parents’ feeble attempts at
Would the day ever come when he could kiss his mother
without guilt about stained sheets or
forgotten condoms floating from his jean’s pockets?
She’d said she preferred handling
his marbles, plants, rocks and worms.
His voice no longer yelled obscenities at the other team from second base
but crooned as he phoned his girl,
knowing she would be as eager to take the steps leading
to sex as he.
They both wished for more comfort
than his father’s backseat gave
their twisting bodies
but ignored that as their sensations blotted
out warnings about diseases and pregnancy
Money was both a temptation and a threat.
Earning it would limit his freedom but
free him from his parents’ silly rules.
He would no longer need to ask
to use the car. They could have one
and a bed of their own.
If he wanted it for other girls it would be easier to keep her from knowing.
His hormones often left him no room for other thoughts than sex.
It was such fun. He couldn’t understand his father’s delight
in his sister’s daughter, flowers, plants, birds and insects.
Maybe they were different species.