I based this poem on autographs written in my 1980 high school yearbook.
Yearbook: A reason to publish every moment of our lives to the world wide web
Because in 1980
Peter couldn’t picture me in any outfit other than cowboy boots and jeans (and, I hope, a shirt), while
Sabrina thought I shouldn’t wear my cowboy boots too much, even though I was neat and different.
I was Michelle’s favorite pianist, and
Mark recommended I work at my song writing at least as much as my research papers.
Jeff was glad I had the answers to Mr. Kules’ tests, and
Rod thought it nice to know someone smart to cheat off of.
Another Jeff was glad we had a blast in Spanish even though we didn’t learn anything, and
Carol “Wow”-ed at our rowdy times in algebra and chemistry.
Kelly wanted Melanie-Felanie to have a bitchin’ summer.
I was Bob’s Tatum O’Neal, and he was sure that if I’d call him over the summer, we’d be good talking friends.
Lee called me a “great wife” who should “Rock On!”,
Ken thought I was super sweet, and
Dave wrote “I love you. You light my soul on fire. Not just a flicker but a flame. A big roaring flame. I can feel it now, etc. Have a great summer, see you next year.”
Pete wrote that I was strange, and he wanted to kiss me always.
Because decades later
I still remember how to write an essay, solve a quadratic equation, and calculate the length of a hypotenuse,
But I do not remember
these people who signed my yearbook,
the time I spent with them, or
the stories behind their words
Because in 1980
I did not capture every moment of my life in posts and comments, photographs and videos,
And because of that
I will never remember why Pete wanted to kiss me always.