“Hitchhiking”, “Sailing the Ship” and “Blush”



Back in the Day,
the 60’s counter-culture
when we ripped the heads off
every idol of our parents
and love was all you need,
we hitchhiked all over America,
just stuck out a thumb.
We didn’t need cars,
couldn’t afford them.
America was our sedan.
We all had thumbs and smiles.
The country was ours.

We had no fear.
Life was a safe road.
Until, one day, Renee
stuck out her innocent thumb
to get a ride
as she did every day
to go to class.

That rainy afternoon,
she ran into our communal house,
burst through the open door,
panting, shaking, standing in the corner
tears of fear streaming down her cheeks.

“He took a wrong turn,
went into the woods;
I cried and begged.
He pulled a knife:”
‘Do only one thing,’ he said.
“I did and gagged and did and did.”

The river of roads crossing America
sank to murky swamps,
some of the drivers snakes.
The end of America as we saw it
through the tinted glasses of the Revolution
that never happened.
We fled to the suburbs,
built our own two-car garages.

Sailing the Ship

I was never drawn to the sea,
no Moby Dick in me.
A Midwestern heart,
flat as a field,
married, children.
My house a ship,
our small yard a little sea.
My wife steers our vessel
sailing through the various seasons.
She is the captain of the ship
commands all the decks,
swabs, scullery,
the children
who flee to her in storms,
the income tax,
the broken toilet,
whatever breaches over the bow.
I cut the lawn,
keep the waves at even keel,
the lifeboat mine
to explore for whales
and bring home hardtack,
stop at various harbors
to trade and shoot the breeze
over mugs of ale and other fare.

Over the years, it does not seem fair.
The glory comes to me,
accolades for my exploits
on the hardy main of country roads,
barnacled old town.
Seldom a mention of the ship,
expected to be there,
always docked or launched,
always an open gangplank
for kids, friends, and neighbors.
The ship is ever sailing,
plowing on through
the cornfields of our life.
And never moves,
never moves.


Blush is a color,
flesh deepened red.
Eve loved Adam unclothed
before they both bit,
before the first animal skins.
Then she saw him naked,
an apple blush.
The blush became terror
when the voice of God called out.

We were at O’Johnny’s Cafe
innocent after an eighth grade dance,
fifty cents for a burger and a coke.
Intention brushed fingers.
Can’t remember her name
see her face, eyes, hair,
can still feel her blush,
like a first date sunset.

How many blushes
have we seen,
blushing when our humanity exposed
shame down the centuries,
no return to innocence?

Back to Eden.
Did Eve’s passion heighten after her blush?

About the Author

Vern Fein

Vern Fein has published poems in *82 Review, The Literary Nest, Silver Birch Press, Rat's Ass Review, Bindweed Magazine, Gyroscope Review, a haiku, Spillwords, VerseWrights, VietNam War Poetry, Ibis Head Review, Spindrift, Former People, has a non-fiction pieces in Quail Bell and The Write Place at the Write Time, and has a short story in the the online magazine Duende from Goddard College.

Read more work by Vern Fein.