My best friend taught me about limbo and saints,
Showed me their stacks of National Geographic.
You had to be invited into membership, she said,
not everyone could join. I rated them against
my mother’s Ladies’ Home Journals
and felt deficient, somehow.
No wine in our Methodist kitchen cupboards.
No tuna and salmon tins
stacked up awaiting Friday.
All those cans on my friend’s mother’s shelves in limbo
all Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,
that long summer when we were still twelve.
Wanting something we didn’t yet know the name of.
Restless stirrings the little boys our age
did not know how to respond to.
All of them inches shorter than us
except for one—a tall country boy
new to town school,
the most innocent of all.
How we waited to be chosen—
the fact that we’d already chosen in our minds
having little consequence.
How we watched. How we kept secrets,
even from each other.
I knew what to call it, at least,
if not much else,
that summer I turned thirteen,
The dVerse poets prompt is “Limbo.”
But Jimmy Cliff says it best!!!!
And “Limbo” of a different sort was two years in our future: