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It was 50 years ago today: A poem from Lylanne Musselman

February 9, 1964
by Lylanne Musselman

Before The Beatles came to America’s shores
The Fab Four were on the cover of
Life Magazine
in glossy black and white. I was in grandma’s kitchen
the first time I became aware of them.

Mom showed grandma their photo to prove
how “scruffy” those four boys were. I remember
the two of them discussing their disgusting long hair.
I begged them to see the magazine cover.

I immediately liked what I saw — youthful smiling faces,
a welcome sight for a second-grader, who loved
their long but simple hair. They became instant friends
to this only child living in a much too adult world.

That Sunday night they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show
I was sitting on the floor as close to the TV as I could get —
those black and white images flickering four young men
in dark suits and ties singing “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah…”

and “I want to hold your hand….” I had to strain to hear
them sing over all the screaming young girls in the audience,
my parents and grandparents sitting behind me in silence, until
Mom yelled, “Get back from the TV screen before you ruin your eyes.”

Bio: Lylanne Musselman is a native Hoosier with many family, friendship, and poetry ties that keep her returning often. An award-winning artist and poet, she has been published in many literary journals and anthologies. She’s authored three chapbooks, and co-authored Company of Women: New and Selected Poems (Chatter House Press, 2013) with Jayne Marek and Mary Sexson. Although, in 2011, she moved to Toledo, Ohio, she continues teaching online writing classes for Ivy Tech Community College, Indianapolis.