Chlorined water wets the sunlit tiles
Where classmates frolic, splashing
The plump boy’s thigh as he sprawls,
Lower legs draw in under pale body,
Self-pitying and angry at participating,
Now proven right in his prediction
Of being ignored by companions;
Unable to call out to them successfully,
The boy is restless and eager to leave.
He picks at the plaid cloth of his boxer trunks,
Straightens exactly his private towel,
Lies on his tall-for-his-age thick side,
Places head on wrist, presses down and rolls
Head back and forth over wrist in frustration,
Wishing himself far away.
Adult vowing that, next time, Mother must be told
That he will keep to his room with his Fannie Hurst novel
Rather than go out, because she tells him to,
With her best friend’s three sons. But now, suddenly delighted,
He sees out of the corner of his eye something read of
But never expected to view: a luna moth, with eerily large wings
Of pale silver-greenish yellow, in summer dusk come
As if having flown in from the moon itself to be with him alone.
Gaping at the loop-tipped creature,
He is suddenly proud of being, apparently,
Its sole observer, and vows to always keep secret this meeting.
Couraged by rapidly beating heart, no longer
Mere phlegmatic boy for parents to sigh over,
He has become “boy as appreciator.”
Connects him with a grown-up life to be:
He will become a writer of trilogies.
Bumbling into shorts and tee-shirt,
Now-relieved lad heads for a nearby lot
Where the father of his mother’s best-friend’s boys
Waits for him to clamber in and be transported home.