B.H. Fairchild, "Rave On"
The larger church an hour away came courting
and my father accepted the call.
Whether it was his will or God's,
the son had no choice but to follow.
It was the first exodus of my memory;
a confused goodbye to yellow roses and
the den where we heard Elvis is dead and
a trinity of Methodist boys named Jimmy and Steven and Billy Mark
and of course, her.
We were voted king and queen of the Valentine banquet one year,
a coronation that told an east Texas town we're a couple.
Her schoolteacher parents arrived early each morning,
while I rode the bus arriving just on time.
She was always there waiting for me, always.
To say it wasn't love is a grown-up lie.
Her mother organized a going away party for me.
School kids pooled money for a photo album - "in remembrance of us."
Jimmy gave the Baptist preacher's son his first St. Christopher.
She gave me a gold Speidel bracelet that read John,
and violent sixth-grade tears.
Please don't go cried the queen.
As a king of twelve, I had visions of marrying Lori.
But where there is no vision, the fox can spoil the queen.
I went back, years later, and asked about her.
Well, that basketball coach, you knew him, he stole her heart.
He was forty years old and married with kids;
poor little girl was just fifteen. My lord.
I was a man by then, old enough to question
both the will of God and my father.
I drove to the park where royalty used to swing, and cried.