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Flower Children

It’s hard to believe that crotchety old man

and his wife hobbling into the store

where I work were once hippies.

Their faces creased like a shirt

I forgot to put in the dryer

and had no time to iron, the man’s pants

pulled up to his chest and his wife muttering

something about the pie she has to bake

for the Sunday church social.


I try to picture them at Woodstock,

a farmer’s soggy field overrun

by painted young ladies

showing their bouncing, naked breasts

at a time of dawning liberation,

the man then bearded without the faintest

hint of grey and both of them smoking pot

and waiting for Jefferson Airplane

to hit the stage.


I can’t imagine them

listening to acid rock

or Led Zeppelin’s vinyl debut

with its flaming Hindenburg crashing

to a hellish death in New Jersey.


I can’t see the man swapping his

Arnold Palmer polo shirt

for a psychedelic tie-dye

and the woman with her midriff

bare and smooth, a peace sign

above her navel.


They ask if they can pay by cheque,

that they’ve never sent an email

when I suggest our online specials,

that they’ve yet to see our Facebook page

and that Instagram is something

they never would have imagined

when they rolled in the mud over

half a century ago, dancing

as if they would never age a day.




Andreas Gripp



Andreas Gripp

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