Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Snowball Dance

The old gym is gussied up in too much gossamer
With countless Christmas lights entwined around
Temporary styrofoam pillars
In a futile attempt to mask
Its workaday function
And permanent BO,
A fitting parallel
To the freshmen and sophomores
Bedecked in their
Personal best,
Trickling in from 
Last-legged mini vans 
And a few flaunted sports cars,
None of which holds any direct correlation
To the quality of awkward gesticulation
About to ensue.

Kim and I are bouncers at the far doors,
Corks meant to keep the effervescent
Giddy hope 
And a few other things
Contained where they belong
(Until the fire alarm sounds
And all the unpredictable flames
Leap out of control).

The DARE officer 
Plays lineman and fireman,
Running interference periodically
Through the heart of the
Frosh pits, dodging elbows and 
Other overly exposed body parts
To stamp out the first sparks of 
Reckless teenage matches
And their attempts at fire by friction.

As the dj pumps out
Paroxysmic juxtapositions of
Pop, rap, and country, 
The expanding hoard slowly begins throbbing 
Like a leg beset by growing pains or a 
Zit begging to be popped.

The full-body sequins
And other gaudy baubles 
Of the Lady Gagette elite
Flounce and sparkle
In contrast with the
Borrowed black pants and
Worn-out khakis
Of their male counterparts
Who have either
Summoned up the courage or
Been cowed into
"Taking them out."

A quiet, usually camo-strewn hunter
In my English class
With a reading style slow and steady enough
To avoid being noticed by anyone
Is moving with a natural smoothness and rhythm 
I never would've imagined
In his black dress cowboy boots.
He's short and unabashed,
And his shorter, red-headed,
Firecracker of a sociable girlfriend
Is curiously being the wallflower,
Though he keeps tracking her down,
Refusing to join in this primal ritual
That he has single-handedly 
Transformed into something that
Transcends his classmates and classes
Into something

I'm taken aback.

But it is Monday now
And the dancing hunter-king
Is quiet
Once again camaflauging himself
Against being called or picked on.

And the gossamered, sparkly-slipper gym
Is back to pumpkin, basketball-court orange,
Its girls and boys preparing for the whistle
To begin the game of dodgeball:
That bizarre dance that perpetuates
Their ever endeavor
To take someone

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