How bigger-than-life icons shaped the boomer generation

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BoomerCafe’s Poet-In-Residence, Harriet Shenkman, has written this month about our past … and the icons who shaped us. This poem is called Fourth Date Reconsidered.

Audrey Hepburn in the film, Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Audrey Hepburn in the film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Waiting on the subway platform,
fingers numb in cloth gloves,
fourth date, not crazy ‘bout him yet.

He finally appears, a blonde beside him.
“Meet Charlene of Valdosta, Georgia.”
Long bus ride, what else could I do?

We three find a table as the spotlight hits
the stage, Lenny Bruce spewing fuck-yous,
Charlene wide-eyed in the darkened room.

Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce

“She runs Honeybun Bakery.” The ice
cubes shake in his glass. I note her bovine
frame. She eyes my dangling silver earrings.

“Charlene types sixty words a minute.”
My Audrey Hepburn pose, “I write verse.”
Lights dim for the second set, Charlene’s

hands clasped prayer-like to the Patron
Saint of Hopeless Causes. We escort her
to a hotel, me tracking the elevator door, her

buns behind. I should have been a snake-haired
Fury dooming him to foaming madness. Maybe
it was his kindness made me swoon?

Harriet Shenkman

Harriet Shenkman

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