1.27.2012

alberta

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.