digital photoart: ralph murre
by Margaret Hasse
Our high school principal wagged his finger
over two manila folders
lying on his desk, labeled with our names––
my boyfriend and me––
called to his office for skipping school.
The day before, we ditched Latin and world history
to chase shadows of clouds on a motorcycle.
We roared down empty rural roads
Missouri River bottoms beyond town,
wind teasing the hair on our bare heads
emptied of review tests and future plans.
We stopped on a dirt road to hear
a meadowlark’s skittish song and smell
heart-break blossom of wild plum.
Beyond leaning fence posts and barbwire,
a tractor drew straight lines across the field
unfurling its cape of blackbirds.
Now fifty years after that geography lesson
of spring, I remember the words
of the principal, how right he was in saying:
This will become part
of your permanent record.
~ from Earth’s Appetite (Nodin Press)