Four Friends from High School
by Alice B. Clagett *
 


photo by Alice B. Clagett, 2016

1.  Her dad owned all
of Northern Virginia
race horses
meadowland
down to the river

     His child
first up
teach asked
first term
What
does your father do?

Answers
like ice
like steel
like winter sun
spilled
piled
tumbled
down the hall

     On a chill November day
our grey haired
spry eyed headmistress
called us together
and pronounced this
doom:

     Our president
was shot and killed today.

     I remember
the stunned looks
the sudden tears
her similar
expression
 

2.  A down-to-earth laugh
a penchant
for science
physical derring-do

     In senior year
she planted a wild
vegetable garden
green. So green.
hope filled twining
near the brick building

     She married
moved out West

     Retired
left him for
her personal trainer
left him for
her husband

     Now she's leading
oldster expeditions
to the high mountains
deep lakes
swift running streams
of that Fiery Land

 


photo by Alice B. Clagett, 2016
 

3.  Her dad owned a chain
of funeral homes in
our nation's
capital

     One day
she didn't come to class

     Whispers
       like air
          from an open window

     Hearts
  caught tight
      caged
   trembling

     Might it be me?
Could it happen to me?

     Some months later
she reappeared

     It wasn't so bad, she said.
He  wasn't there.
It was quiet.
It was nice.

     Then she popped up
in San Francisco
married to
    the head Zen monk
two-year-old toting
    eyes like blue oceans

    Looking deep into
    almost beyond you
    she'd say with a laugh:
    No! I'm no longer crazy.
 

4.  Her mom
knew how to cook
artichokes

     Her dad was mostly
elsewhere
This was the only
elsewhere dad
I'd ever un-encountered

     After college
so the story went
she bared her breasts
on film
at Woodstock
then

     She joined a cult
that believed sex was evil
changed her name
became the head nun
had her records expunged
at our high school

     As it turned out
her dad was prestigious
He could do
that kind of thing
for his beautiful daughter

 


photo by Alice B. Clagett, 2016

* All names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this poem are fictitious.
No identification with actual persons, places, buildings,
and products is intended or should be inferred.

from "The Chalice and the Crucible"   Site home page: 2U3D

 


Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, "The Chalice and the Crucible" by Alice B. Clagett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.