ICE CREAM PEOPLE
They were the safe ones,
bland, blonde, blue-eyed,
good boys, the only kind
your mother allowed you to date.
Honor students who worked part-time
after school at an office or bank.
Sexless and soft, they opened doors,
chastely kissed without using tongues,
never tried feeling you up.
Your first husband was a vanilla
icecream person until he returned
from a tour of duty in Vietnam.
Cambodian shore bombings,
mercenaries, ship suicides
sent him home psychologically maimed.
A paler version of Victor Charlie,
loaded gun in the closet,
machete under the bed.
Night terrors, physical violence.
Your home a hot zone.
During his final melt-down,
you ran away, hid for months.
Cut off contact with family, friends.
Spent ten years rebuilding a broken life,
Jennifer reads "Ice Cream People":
Subscribe to Channel Five-Two for first view of new videos.
Jennifer confesses: "'Ice Cream People' was inspired by a line from a Charles Bukowski poem. I used the phrase as a title, spinning off the story of an ex who started off as a gentle boy-next-door and ended up emotionally and psychologically damaged by the Vietnam War."