• Brian M Winningham

When I Was Fifteen

















I think we all have it, that singular age

The one we all instantly revert to,

When a particular sight or touch or smell

Rushes you back in time, as if you never left.


Could be dealing with a teenaged-geriatric dad

Could be talking on the phone with your mom

Could be that birthday note from your oldest friend

Could be your breathless heart pounding love again.


Maybe the age is Seven and warm cookies at grandma’s house.

Maybe the age is Ten and your first best forever friend.

Maybe the age is Thirteen and you experienced true love’s first kiss.

Maybe the age is fifteen because it’s all about to be different than this.


When I was fifteen everything in my life changed.

When I was fifteen, I saw firsthand a baby boy born.

When I was fifteen, I lost the only home I ever knew

When I was fifteen, I discovered love that was nothing but true.


When I was fifteen everything in my life changed.

When I was fifteen, I had to keep terrible adult secrets.

When I was fifteen, I drove my dad’s truck all over town.

When I was fifteen, I said goodbye to all the friends I’d ever known.


When I was fifteen everything in my life changed.

When I was fifteen, I started writing, begun from a love of reading.

When I was fifteen, I experienced a woman in form only.

When I was fifteen, I learned to be my own man and lonely.



When I was fifteen everything in my life changed.

When I was fifteen, I found my life’s vocation and true calling.

When I was fifteen, I began along with my family to travel.

When I was fifteen my whole life slowly began to unravel.


When I was fifteen everything in my life changed.

When nostalgia hits and memories come flooding in,

I’m instantly fifteen years old, just before we left,

Before I stored my forgotten boyhood on a dusty old shelf.


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