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Monday, September 13, 2010


by George Held

The first day was like a wired dream,
A narcotic for a young teen:
The girls looked newly vivacious,
Swelling breasts balancing braces,
The boys sprouted whiskers or fuzz,
The teachers loomed Olympian.

Perfume hung in the air and sweat
From anxious pores; the hubbub
In the crowded hall magnified
Shrill and base and cracking voices;
Promise bent to bless or curse us
Lost in the fog of school’s first day.

Pride went before falls, and the meek
Knew that they would not inherit
Anything of value; bullies
Flexed their enlarging biceps, nerds
Formed their own small eccentric herd
While jocks strode and cheerleaders flew

Down the halls and into classrooms,
Laying down the beat of glamour
For the underclass to admire
And resent. Fifty years later,
At a reunion in the gym,
Survivors recall, if they strain,

Through paralyzing mists of time,
Where they fit in that distant dream.

George Held has collected many of his New Verse News poems in The News Today.