top of page

Garrett Phelan



Early, with little money, we’d gather at the corner,

slip into Maxwell Drugs on Farmington Avenue

and climb onto the red and silver stools,

order a cherry-Coke, light up a Lucky Strike

and inhale deeply.


Sometimes, bored, we’d exhale

into our straw submerged in the cherry-Coke

and watch the bubbles burst with cigarette smoke.

Soon, we’d divide into pairs, stick out our thumbs


on North Main Street and hitchhike to Barkhamsted 

to swim across the huge reservoir,

climb the cliff walls, or dive from tree limbs- 

to dare ourselves to be indestructible.


Once on the way home the driver of a Chevy Impala

hit 110mph on Rte. 44 to impress us.

We laughed. We got out at Bishop’s Corner,

lit our cigarettes and inhaled. When we returned,


we put one foot up against the wall outside Maxwell Drugs, 

leaned back, and exhaled, happy with who we were.

bottom of page