when I found her
big blue eyes looking for the everything -
compliments, jewelry, big blockbuster love,
words of poetry in fragile whispers.
I was a quiet, artsy guy.
A harmless nobody, really,
but I did read poetry.
And I didn't want much,
just a cheerleader,
So I got to know her when no one was around.
On park swings she was honest, and I was clever.
We each learned to laugh outside our own little worlds
watching the sun set on the summer of 1985.
One Friday night over ice cream
I convinced her to grab her uniform and meet me on the football field.
Right there on the 50 yard line
I told her to grab her shakers, arms outstretched
and strike her favorite pose.
She giggled, as I lifted her sporty skirt.
She stopped as I got closer, even closed her eyes.
"Shish, boom, bah", I whispered.
"The moon is watching us be free.
O how we shake the pom pom tree!"
And it did shake.
She giggled again, and then she came.
And a local urban legend was born.
We never spoke after that.
Happens that way sometimes.
I graduated and moved away
but heard rumors of that clear August night
from dreams and old friends who never left.
Rumor says she did it with Rick Thompson,
the star quarterback.
We both know better,
but I understand.
Did her lie weaken the roots?
Are its leaves boxed in the attic, or do they
hang on the wall of the nursery like proud,
Sometimes I worry about the pom pom tree.
I hear they got married right after graduation
and still live right there in the town.
Now and again, I'm sure she takes him to the old field.
And I'm sure he shakes it, thinking he's lucky
to have such a kinky wife, an ex-cheerleader, no less.
Just as I'm sure she wishes,
he'd put down the beer
and read some poetry.