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  • Brian M Winningham


I remember riding in a big yellow car,

As big as a boat, but sharp lines and sleek.

Standing up just to see outside, riding

On a bench seat of warm dark pebbled vinyl.

“Hang on Sloopy!” She always cried

Happily as she grabbed me and saved me

From sliding and falling and tumbling about.

Me giggling with the thrill. “I’m not a dog!”

I remember she left for college, 2-whole-hours away!

I felt the loss. My first girl-friend moved.

She always made me feel special, first nephew.

Firstborn son in a family with no patriarch.

“Hang on Sloopy!” she cried once again

Smiling as I tossed my bangs to the side

Smiling up into her sunny face. Campus Tours,

Cool apartment and cool new friends. Cool by association.

I remember when she met “the guy.”

He was always so serious. I didn’t trust him

At first. Then I found our common ground

In the adventure books he read as a boy.

“Hang on Sloopy.” I whispered in my head

As she walked down the aisle toward Him.

Walking forward happily into his arms

And motherhood and family and love.

I remember their wonderful life together

My first love and her “guy”. He is a good man.

I trust him. They have prospered and are blessed

Him and my Dingle.

“Hang on Sloopy.” The old familiar refrain

Every time I hear it, I smell hot vinyl

Burning in the summer, holding on, too hot to sit

Down in a big yellow car, smiling up at my girl.

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