Friday, April 23, 2010

poem of the day 04.23.10


jenny was a burnout
girl back in eighth grade

i had a crush on her

jenny wasn’t really a burnout
but her brother benny was

benny had long hair
he wore a jean jacket and smoked

some of his pals
from the public school
tried to kick my ass once
because i gave them the finger
when their bus passed us
walking home from catholic school

they shouted shit at me every day

finally i just got sick of it

they chased me home
from school for a week
before my mother finally
called their school
and told their principal

i felt like a pussy because
of the whole ordeal

there was one of me
and about ten of them

jenny didn’t hold it against me
she just smiled and winked in religion class

on our eight grade trip
to washington d.c.
she wore white jeans and it rained

you could see through them

jenny was wearing blue panties
underneath those jeans

at the arlington cemetery
i tried to make her laugh

i got yelled at by a guard
at the tomb of the unknown soldier

but it worked

jenny laughed

i wondered what benny
and all of his burnout friends
would think about that

i was overweight but i felt bold

i asked jenny to go steady with me

she said yes
then walked away to laugh with her friends

i watched those blue panties
walk away from me
feeling like the king of the world

when we got back to school
jenny dumped me

one of her friends told her not to date me
because i was overweight

jenny said that it was because she wasn’t
allowed to date in eighth-grade
but i knew better because i’d overheard her friend
talking about me behind my back

i thought maybe benny had some influence too

i thought i’d get back at him
maybe get his friends back while i was at it

but on the walk home from school
when the public school busses passed
and they shouted at me
i didn’t say or do anything

to hell with benny, i thought

to hell with benny and jenny
and all the rest of them

two years later the paper was doing a feature
on teenagers who smoked

on the front cover was a picture of jenny
she had a cigarette in her mouth
and she looked content

i hadn’t seen her in two years
and she still looked beautiful

my old man was the one who showed me her picture

he said didn’t you go to grade school with her?

yes, i said

looks like she turned out to be a winner, he said

then he took the paper back
he went on reading

i thought about blue panties
and the tomb of the unknown soldier

then i went up to my room
and played whatever music
i was into at that fragile time
in my life.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I knew a few "Jennys" in my own days at catholic school. So much of this reminded me of those days...