Entangled in the distant past, we recall and illuminate
those fifty-year-old stories as we gather to ruminate.
Pranks, first loves and scandals so far back in our past,
it’s as though it was a movie in which we all were cast.
That thumbtack “someone” placed upon our history teacher’s chair.
Will the scoundrel confess at last? But no, he doesn’t dare.
And in our sixties, will we snitch? No, there is not one.
Not one of us reveals the answer to that smoking gun.
The raided slumber parties, the trips up England’s hill,
we tell the stories of our past until we’ve had our fill,
then jump to doleful stories of tragedies and sorrows—
the few of those lost in their youth, deprived of all their morrows.
Hayrides by the river, pep rallies and school dances,
boys passing girls in cars on Main, pondering their chances.
Wild Homecoming raids on barns where we were building floats,
whisperings in Civics class and furtively passed notes.
Both schools we passed those years in have been felled by wrecking crews,
replaced by newer buildings, erasing all the clues
of years we spent within them, the carvings on the desks,
all our various antics as we lived out youth’s burlesques.
Our memories getting dimmer, each five years, we choose to meet
to reminisce and chew the fat. To drink and dance and eat.
We don’t discuss the present. It’s as though it’s in a haze
as we go back to live our half-remembered yesterdays.