Class of ’63 High School Reunion
I attended my high school reunion, it happened last week:
we’d graduated fifty-five years earlier, an amazing streak.
It was good to see friends from a lifetime long past,
when times were much simpler, and life wasn’t so fast.
I saw friends, I saw girls whom I’d loved from afar,
I saw those who’d been athletes, those who’d had a car.
I saw others who’d always been much smarter than I
and those who’d been outspoken and those who were shy.
We told stories, most of which were funny indeed,
from a time when our naïve minds rarely took heed,
when common sense too often flew way out the door,
until adulthood made us eventually appreciate the score.
But most of all we reveled in our friendship, our history,
from a period when ethics and morals were no mystery.
We were born from that synchrony, from that ancestral leg,
as if we had all hatched from the same primordial egg.
BUT (and this is true):
As one who came from afar, I credit our reunion team,
who arranged for our venue, to which we would stream.
At the local country club, our reservation we’d redeem,
on the eighteenth of August, two thousand eighteen.
But then the worst happened, we could not have foreseen,
when a younger reunion class did conspire, plot and scheme,
to invalidate our site that months before was our theme,
in their favor, so wrong and unfair we wanted to scream.
So what are we to make of this sleight of hand so extreme,
that a sister high school class could so lower our esteem?
Had values so diminished—ten years later lost their sway—
from when honesty and fairness were proudly our ‘63 way?
The Heaven We Ignore
I’ve made an acquaintance named Jayne—not her real name—
who’s seen troubles a plenty, that have set her life aflame.
She struggles to stay on course, to fashion a stable life,
but the curse of depression dangles over, a Damocles’ knife.
That’s not to say there have not been good times as well;
there have been, prompting joy, with happy stories to tell.
But too often follows darkness, many praying for a remedy,
family desperate for serenity, freedom from the misery.
So as a friend who’s lived through three score and ten,
who’s seen it all and then some, what is it I could pen
that might provide some philosophy, guidance, or hope,
from my lifetime of observation that could help her to cope?
I’ve seen beauty, selflessness, and I’ve experienced true love,
to the point where I question if heaven could be better above.
I say “Fight for it, Don’t give up,” try to push the demons away,
because the heaven God intends for us may, in fact, be today.
At five years, petite and slender, she saw something more;
she wondered, searched her brain for not having seen it before.
Her cousins, her family, they must have known her history,
so why had they said nothing, to help solve this mystery?
Within seconds, she confronted her parents headstrong,
who promptly confessed that they’d known it all along.
“Happened to notice” when only months old, they said,
nursed by a suspicion when she first lay cooing on her bed.
Then when she started school, others too became aware;
she became self-conscious, always sensing a stare.
But once they became friends, no one noticed any more;
differences were irrelevant, no need to keep score.
As an adult, she could smile at her adoptive parents’ confession
to a young girl who first noticed her differing complexion.
But until that mirror gave up its surprise, the truth that came,
–to Jada, black or white, both shades were one and the same.
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