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.

21 comments:

  1. And so the roads lead many ways. Wonderful and vivid vignette.

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  2. Wow, you have replayed this scene to perfection. Great story, kiddo.

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  3. Excellent vignette, flash fiction as poetry.

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  4. Don't you love it when people grow up in exactly the opposite way you expected? You conveyed the speaker's carefully concealed shock very well.

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  5. Nothing like those unexpected surprises discovered at reunions.

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  6. Well, at least she CAME to the reunion, LOL. I could picture the scene totally. And I don't blame you for going home!

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  7. it was the narrator who was out of place :)

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  8. This is exactly why I don't go to my reunions! Great conversation.

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    1. your narrator felt compelled to attend her fifth but has never been back since :)

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  9. I also have not gone back after my fifth....we are so alike

    I like the realistic nature of the dialogue in the few words.

    awesome

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  10. i really like what you have accomplished here. It's a short story for certain, however you have captured so many smallish details that make it sing. The eating raw potatoes on the trampoline, the whole notion of a chair factory (up until reading that line, I had never even thought that such a thing might exist!!! the salisbury steak and cheesecake. Very well done and viva la

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  11. We waited 20 years before having our first reunion. Now I know why.
    K

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  12. Reunion time in all it's horrendous realisation!

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  13. Great character development in very few words.

    I could see you, jumping on a trampoline
    eating a raw potato
    at your house on that dirt road by the crick.

    Just love this kind of writing when you can almost reach out and touch it! :)

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  14. Very vivid word picture. (I was home schooled so I have neither the joy nor the horror of school reunions--not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.)

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    1. hey, my kids are homeschooled! but not because of the experience i wrote about here :)

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  15. thanks for reading and enjoying, friends!

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