Boys of 2001

In that summer's hit song, you imagined yourself
the woman in the white convertible: Shifting to a stop

at the crosswalk as young boys began to hope,
to wonder aloud years later, If I ever saw her again...

That year of rambling night-walks through the neighborhood,
your practiced smile showing

the important teeth. Homecoming dances in Fall, circles
printed by the front porch lights on someone's

lapel. What makes you think, today, of the wind
combing dark trees, those boys like shadows

in the blood, as you close the front door, walk through this city
they would never visit, have not seen, the old leaves

long fallen, swept off by morning sweepers
from the glistening, still road? All winter you've recited

this litany of names: lost, misremembered,
found again as you stare through fences at the shaded,

dry gardens no one enters, until you almost see
their budding, stubbled facesóRemember, John wept

in a rain-soaked driveway, then David on the canyon drive,
the dark blue of his shorts as you swam the river.

And Vandiver, and Keith, and Dan and on: you do not know
why you can't stop speaking to these boys, married now,

or gone, telling their stories back to them, revising
till they blur and you remember them only

by the cars they drove: Red Saab convertible, the rusted
Volvo that never ran, your favorite blue Honda

that still sits empty, in the wide church parking lot,
under a pine.

Laura Davenport is a native of Birmingham, Alabama, and is pursuing an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Breakwater Review, the Helen Burns Poetry Anthology, and Best New Poets 2009.

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761