Stung by a Blue Jacket Twice

“A time it was and what a time it was. A time of innocence, a time of confidence. Long ago it must be. I have a photograph.” -Paul Simon

He was a neon knight
Flashing his all-American
Smile like the vacancy sign
At the Holiday Inn,
Promising suite dreams to
The beautiful, rich girls at
Savannah High. But he avoided me
As if my poverty were a communicable
Disease; carefully timing his entrance
And exit from the classroom so
That not even our eyes could meet.
But I dreamed. And when I dreamed,
The hunger in my stomach was far less
Painful than the hunger in my eyes.
His smile is faded now.
The stomach is full.
But the eyes…
Oh, the eyes still hunger!

-Mary Binnicker Purcell