Friday, September 10, 2010

Cues by David Hassler

When I was small we all lived low,
in old places by tracks and on-ramps.
Our flannel shirts and canvas shoes
objects of ridicule to those
who lived up and beyond the hill,
my new junior high classmates.
Usually tall, often blond, their
feathered hair bobbed down the hall.
Those with older brothers fared better;
the rest of us left to ponder how best
to avoid the taunts and laughter.
The months taught us to band
together, chess players and readers.

Invited up to another awkward boy's
house, I tried to hide the hole when
told to leave my shoes at the door.
His place like a kid's liquor store:
a pool table and trains, video games,
a VCR, guitars and horses,
a room full of books you never returned.
His mom made a Sunday dinner on Tuesday.
Didn't see why I needed two forks --
had to watch, take cues from folks
who didn't own TV trays.

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