Poem of the Week: Fifties Girl

by Mary Lou Taylor, Santa Clara County Branch, CA



Fifties Girl 

How did I miss it? I was there

heard the music  read the papers

watched TV  Elvis James Dean  “Howl”

I missed them all   missed the trends   what was I?

obtuse  dense  dull?  did the twist but only because I was hired

as a movie extra and I pick up on dancing fast.  I stayed innocent

lived free of guile  hard roads?  freedom?  they didn’t concern me

I was vaguely aware of Bob Dylan   I knew the Beach Boys intimately

I was after all a California girl   from the ‘50s I remember Elizabeth Taylor

at my UCLA Junior Prom   Bud Murphy jumping from Royce Hall tower

Jimmy Durante and Bob Hope on campus   Ernie Kovacs   my wedding hat

bottles and diapers  “Mr. Sandman”  Johnny in Carson’s Cellar   when Dylan

went electric I missed it   when everything was up for grabs I missed it

missed rock ‘n roll  “We Shall overcome”  all that underground music

Janis Joplin   Jimi Hendrix   all that pain   where was I?

came to 1970 and the decade was over  I was

a fifties girl   the nearest I came to giving

a thought to what was going on

in the world was when we lived

on Andrews Air Force base

and I could see the Enola Gay

from my upstairs window


  1. Nancy Meyer says:

    Cool, Mary Lou or should I say cool Marry Lou! Love the pacing and flow down the page like s dance, the honesty and as others remark, the concrete images. Wonderful to have it in front is so many eyes and ❤️S

  2. Carolyn Grassi says:

    Congratulations! Mary Lou. Love your poem, the flow, the images, sincerity, wit, cultural references and more. Keep on writing!

  3. Laura Walth says:

    Thanks for sharing the memories of what took place when I was a child.



  5. Beautiful imagery, and a sentiment shared by many– I missed it. Powerful.

  6. This is exquisitely crafted, Mary Lou. The last six lines, in particular, carried such an impact, and
    when you referenced the Enola Gay, I’m sure all your readers held their breath for an instant.

  7. Mary J. Meagher says:

    Great poem and it touched my ❤.

  8. Sara Etgen-Baker says:

    I share a similar sentiment and have often wondered where was I? Thanks for your creativity

  9. I actually loved every word. Brought back so many memories. Wearing my saddle oxfords with my angora socks. It is a wonderful poem