Once up in ‘63, or
‘62, or —
Some nimble cat crawled
the ladder with a can in its jaw
and sprayed “Class of ‘64” — durable —
like gold or lichen, like rust,
the year it was spit into the world,
or would be — vertiginous —
spit out over corn and alfalfa sheets,
spit out over the twelve mile line
with its black silos and ribbon,
where thunder crouched
and all the blue of heaven and not here
ran to greenbacks, smooth hands,
pink girls and sharp crease boys.
Emma’s retired now,
there’s a new teller at the bank —
delivers meals on wheels.
Lymon takes coffee at the Conoco,
with the rest of the class,
and a pair of pliers hangs
in a leather pouch on his brand new hip.