Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Seventh Grade Blues



In 7th grade I was all arms and legs-
Knocking into things, my socks slipped down
Into my shoes, my blouse untucked
My hair declaring independence from any sense of place –
I wore the clothes my mother liked.
I didn’t think I fit, so sure was I
That everybody noticed what I wore
And each dumb thing I said.

I went to church last Sunday, just a little late
The congregation watched as we walked down
To sit in front. The other seats were taken
By better folk whose lives are organized
And neat. I sang the hymns my best, a bit off key,
My husband said, but loud.

We stayed for coffee after church.
I stood alone with coffee in my hand
The black stockings I had worn looked very blue.
Should not have worn a skirt!
My hair is standing quite on end today
Great white wires going every way.
If someone comes to chat, what will I say?
The cookie that I’m holding’s shedding crumbs.

Helen came, removed a cat hair from my sleeve
And asked me how I was. I’m fine, I said,
And so is Fred. We talked of her and me and church
Til Judy joined us, and Sue, and Natalie
Who had surgery a week ago. It turned out well.

I’m all grown up from 7th grade, I think
Until the next time when I stand alone, with Styrofoam
Of coffee in my hand.