Thursday, August 6, 2009

the reunion: a poem

Click photo to enlarge.
The guy at left behind podium, the one in an aura of light? The student body president. He's also wearing one of the red-and-white football jerseys. We were a serious couple that year and for two years in college. He died in 1998 of a heart attack. I may write about him in the next week prior to the upcoming reunion. If not now, later.

See related post for background on poem.

The Reunion

Our colors whipped red and white,
the married assistant coach
preferred high school virgins,
chili dripped from an exit sign
in the cafeteria
after the food fight

and I was a chrysalis
plotting escape.

Pompon mothers will be there
cheering "yuppie" in place of
ten years later
and paunchy jocks,
punting questions about divorce,
will guzzle scotch instead of beer.

They'll forget that their
stoned on acid
killed his twin brother

the star quarterback
caught a grenade
in Vietnam

the girl who won
best body
vanished after the pomp,
and circumstance produced
a butterfly.

© MLM "Lydia" 1979



Ted Bagley said...

101 now.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

I'm a big fan of Springsteen, because when he's on form he has a poetic way of drawing you into a real situation and creating a very personal picture - this was absolutely brilliant in the same way: such a original image and very, very poignant

Excellent stuff!

The Stylish House said...

Bravo, I enjoyed this! Weird about the aura of light, but I have seen this before and believe there is meaning to it.

Indigo said...

Beautifully surreal. I went and read the entry you wrote about your High School reunion as well...
Life has a way (strangely so) of coming full circle. To me Reunions let you see that aspect in play. The snobs, find themselves overweight ungainly and unhappy. The outcast now have pride and have stood the test of time and friends...Friends somehow remain, the worthwhile ones anyway.

I would go if you no other reason than to continue, to watch how life plays out this hand. (Hugs)Indigo

Mariana Soffer said...

I think the poem es excelent, it is really incredible, congratulations. You know that I could never imagine that you would write such a sad poem (that is a compliment)
IT talks about the human miseries, the desire of destruction, of harm, either doing it to others o to themselves. And also the hypocrecy can be seem everywhere,m nobody wants to see that stuff, people prefer to play dumb.

Ted Bagley said...

Makes me think of the reunions I didn't go to and now have been there anyway.
My email is up now Lydia.

Mark said...

Wow, love it.

Friko said...

Tempus fugit and everything changes. Who was who said, that you can never step into the same river twice.
I like your poem.

Looking to the Stars said...

Good post, kiddo! A very down to earth poem, good work :)

Hattie said...

No wonder the Boomers flipped out!

Darlene said...

It was my experience that some of the school stars did fulfill their destiny. The girl voted the best looking in my class was still beautiful when she was nearing 70 years old. She was nice when she was a teenager and remained so. She died before reaching 80, as did the boy voted best looking. Some of the H. S. jerks had mellowed and were friendly.

It's hard to stereotype because some were just the same as they were in H. S., only older. Some had come out of their shell and were outgoing. Some had become wealthy or prominent and they were the ones you would have predicted to accomplish much.

So, it is interesting to see the follow up to those kids in your class. I would go if for no other reason than curiosity.

Lydia said...

@Ted- Nope. Didn't work. You must not have clicked on that final "follow" button. The thought counts, though. :)

@Pixies- Alright, I'm squealing inside because to have anything I wrote compared to Springsteen is a huge compliment for me. I love him too, the way he gets to the nitty-gritty of life. Thanks.

@The Stylish House- O, thank you. I agree with you about the aura of light in photos. It seems not to be as present in digital photography as with film...wonder why.

@Indigo- "To watch how life plays out this hand..." is such a fine way to describe what a reunion can be. At the 30th reunion I wasn't particularly aware of karma-type examples of people getting what's coming to them, or anything like that.

@Mariana- I appreciate the compliment. Back when I wrote that poem I was in a different place in practically every regard in my life. Not that I don't have dark days now, I do, but to be honest I don't think I could write something that surly now. :)

@Ted- But remember that each reunion is different from the other, even within the same class. We change, we mature, we mourn dead classmates, we celebrate that we're here. I think that's what I will miss if I don't go. But my friend on the committee will tell me all about it, lucky me.

@Mark- Am honored.

@Friko- Love that quote, never heard exactly that one. In my case, it is especially fitting because the Truckee River runs through Reno...ever changing, moving on.

@Looking to the Stars- Thank you for your positive comment (I always love it when you call me kiddo, never more than when staring a 40th reunion in the face!).

@Hattie- It's the ones that went on to support Reagan, etc. that - in my opinion - really flipped out!

@Darlene- Your comments were so meaningful, beginning to end, but that first sentence says so very much. I keep returning to read it. It's beautiful.

Erika C. said...

Thanks for the powerful poem and memories. I haven't gone to a reunion in a while-seems like the friends I want to see I am in touch with anyway and they wouldn't go either.

I am going on vacation and may not be able to write as much.

Thanks for your inspiring words!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

What a lovely idea of reunion. Excellent!

Citizen of Earth said...

Very well written
And so true - almost like I was there
In a way I was there
And our colors were also red & white...

And so the butterfly doth transcend the longings of the past,,,

Buddha said...

I really, really like your poem!
I would be curious how some of your old high school buddies would react to it :)

English Rider said...

you make us feel part of the class, then and now.

Lydia said...

@Erika- You are so kind and extremely deserving of the best of vacations. Have a wonderful time. :)

@Phivos- I wonder if this is something that occurs only in the U.S. or if other countries have school reunions. Everyone has family reunions of one kind or another, right?

@Citizen of Earth- Beautiful comments. They get a red and white star.

@Buddha- Thanks. You know, I think that quite a few of them would not understand how I felt back in 1979. Maybe I'm wrong, but I always felt different somehow in my feelings that most of high school was a bunch of BS. :)

@English Rider- Welcome to the class...and Writerquake!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Be sure that we have the same things. We ejnoy it very much!! Sometimes we make reunions in other countries.

Erin Davis said...

As a big fan of Springsteen, I totally agree with Don't Feed the Pixies. This is wonderful, Lydia. The tone of this poem goes right to the gut.

Lydia said...

@Phivos- I imagine having a reunion in another country would be most special of all. :)

@Erin- Another Springsteen fan...yeah! I appreciate your comment because you're one amazing poet!



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