Two Girls Barefoot; First Day of 1960


Actually, I’m not exactly sure what day this poem was written. Jack Gilbert was a big published poet at San Francisco State when I was there and this poem ran on little cat feet across the lawn licking from soul to soul into my mind. Where it still resides. Kids whispered it into each other’s ears like the Revolution is here or like the the wind in the eucalyptus trees as the fog swirled in on little ghost feet and made Bess Faraway wrap herself in her green wool flannel car coat as she nearsightedly headed for the Commons looking for Walrus Pemmican but he had already split.


Two girls barefoot walking in the rain
Both girls lovely, one of them is sane
Hurting me softly
Hurting me though
Two girls barefoot walking in the snow
Walking in the white snow
Walking in the black
Two girls barefoot never coming back.

– Jack Gilbert

The photo, by the way, is not really 1960 era San Francisco. But it really is San Francisco. By an excellent photographer named Nitsa. Her stuff is here.


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