The boys together

When were we not together?

And always together—how
could we ever find time to make or write anything?
yet we DID
in the craftsroom in the office in the snack room in the halls
We spun galaxies from our fingertips
were an extreme cohort
—which doesn’t mean a gang
not even a teamMore like
contestants presiders judges and delirious fans intensely fused
during a competition that rattled back and forth the pre-adolescent years
We filled our newsletter every week
Eight pages!!
Our comets flamed hot, and so did we—
real hot
☞ (I don’t know
what the community center staff thought of us but they let us
think whatever we thought of ourselves)
Activities never really started
till everybody was there


                           ✳    ✳    ✳    ✳    ✳    ✳
☞ That was the autumn when
a candy bar went from five cents
to ten (no noticeable improvement in taste)
But when somebody got a treat, all would take turns at the straw
That’s what you call friends
Sure, you could make friends at school—
but only to
know who shared your ennui
(alienation was the keyword of the times)
Yeah, yeah—point granted—some teachers were great, but I don’t
remember getting much out of school
I learned my trig at the public library
And world lit? Whatever lined my parents’ shelves
But the community center shimmered with us
it percolated
it blasted open
when we were together


This poem was published as one of six poems in issue #2 of Ranger magazine.

Andy Oram
September 10, 2020

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