We sat at tables in the gymnasium
on wooden folding chairs,
made at the chair factory
where some of our classmates worked.

People stared when you walked in
wearing a day-glo pink lace dress,
a girl on your arm.
You sat next to me and said,
"Been five years, what you been up to?"

I stammered, "Well, this is my boyfriend.
In the fall I'll be in graduate school."
Smile. "How about you?"

"This is my cousin Sherry. I'm a dancer."

You must have been able to read my mind:
you had been the toughest girl in school.
If anyone suggested you wear a dress
or called you by your given name,
they'd get a bruising.
I could see you, jumping on a trampoline
eating a raw potato
at your house on that dirt road by the crick.

You winked, "In bars, honey." I blinked back.

After Salisbury steak and cheesecake,
awards and presentations, plenty of applause
and a few guffaws, we stood to leave.
You elbowed me. "See you at the after-party?
Rick has a hot tub."

Blinking again. "Yeah, see you there."
I went home.

Mary asked the Real Toads to write a poem containing a conversation.