Monday morning and you are not here.
Another “F” joins the parade
of “F’s” across Miss Nichols’ notebook.
You are off catching pollywogs
in the stream behind the school,
sneaking into matinees, sitting
next to men with bourbon breath.
Our hands touched by chance
in the dark theater of Audrey
Hepburn and Gary Cooper.
Sparks shot up my arm.
I didn’t wash for weeks,
savoring the scent of your skin.
Monday morning and you are not here
in Charles River Church.
I circled the notice in the newspaper,
learned your heart was weak.
Strangers are speaking of you:
good Father, loving husband,
I drift away.
My hand touches yours
and we are twelve again,
skipping school, watching
Love in the Afternoon.