Kim, Tammy, Lisa, and Denise–we were a faction
of friends who dominated our fifth grade class.
The teacher thought he knew best, so we each
were placed in a different sixth grade room.
I find my way into Mr. Hargrove’s class.
My new friend here is Cathy L.
Cathy is a wild girl, popular and pretty,
Mean, sharp-tongued, and savvy.
It is not long before Cathy and I are one;
I cleave and comply under her authority.
We are mean to the same people,
We avoid trouble with dishonest charm,
We play softball during lunch recesses,
The only girls (it is a boys’ league, after all.)
We hold our own against would-be bullies,
and we are bountiful bulliers, ourselves.
I don’t mind when she’s absent because
Albert likes me instead of her those days.
We never go to each other’s houses, and I do
wonder what kind of trouble she gets in there.
When junior high comes,
we end up in different classes
(did someone arrange that, I wonder?)
We each find new friends to hang out with
and I find myself not mourning
that my “best” friend is no more.