That day now lost in antiquity
When I heard the Kingston Trio
Sing the Ballad of Tom Dooley
On the radio for the first time:
So different, so new, and I saw
How big this was going to be,
How the girls who now strutted
And slinked down Halsted Street
In red or black satin club jackets
Monogrammed with their initials
Would soon have waist-length hair
Straight and shining and how the
Hard look presently in their eyes
Was going to magically transform
Into a furtive expression which,
Done right, was softly seductive
But also alluringly dangerous
To those who paid close attention.
This was the future coming down
The tracks so the question was
What to do about it. I was twelve
With no talent for the guitar nor
Was I much of a dancer, slow or fast,
But wait, I had a sort of carelessness
Or recklessness about my body
And once when I ran into a tree
I looked pretty bad but it didn’t
Really bother me that much.
All right then, this was the plan.
I would become a high school
football star which would be
Attractive to the new breed of
Dark and intense folk singing girls.
What was I thinking, for Christ’s sake?