Okay, his name was not Jim, but other than that, the following poem is a true story. Hard to imagine any boy wouldn't have gone for those bangs and too young for braces buck teeth. I wore extra petticoats because I wanted hips like Annette Funicello, but instead I was shaped more like Pinocchio. The only thing missing in this picture are the black cats' eye glasses that I needed to see the blackboard at school. Irresistible.
So, in the old days kids didn't have to bring valentines to the entire class. It was possible for one girl (Bernadette Sehi) to get 35 valentines and the girl sitting next to her (B.O.Ploe) to get none. It was a day filled with high anxiety and kids consoling themselves by overdosing on little candy hearts. I suppose I was kind in the middle in the whole "who got the most valentines" contest. I don't remember, really. But I remember a boy who was not named Jim who crumpled my valentine in his pocket and laughed with his friends (at me?). It wasn't the worst thing that ever happened to me, and you'll be glad to know, I did not injure myself or others despite the murderous, vengeful thoughts going through my head at the moment I tried to capture in the poem. But 50 years later, I still remember.
On Valentine's Day, be nice.
I gave Jim a valentine.
He stuffed it in his shirt,
then stood there in the hallway
with his jerko friends and smirked.
I must be dumber than a doorknob,
but I thought I'd take a chance.
Now, my foot is itching in my shoe,
it wants to kick his pants.
My hands are searching
for a hiding place.
They want to choke his throat.
He thinks that I'm some joke.
One day I hope he feels
what burned is all about,
and he will learn too late
that love's too fine to be crumped out.
©1996 sara holbrook ALL RIGHTS RESERVED