Bare legs stuck to the vinyl seats
like flies on flypaper,
windows rolled down,
hands swooping in the wind,
barely grown-in buck teeth
beneath summer grins
on our way to Pioneer Drive-in.
Mom paid five dollars for the whole
station wagon load, tires grinding
their way across gravel
to a dusky spot near the screen.
Moths had already started to school
like silver fish in projector light
and a familiar cotton candy and
popcorn butter breath radiated
from the rickety refreshments stand.
We climbed atop the oxidized roof,
tossing up a few old quilts
and stained pillows to cushion our ribs
from the luggage rack rails.
My best friend and I had said goodbye
to 6th grade and helllooo to Ralph Macchio.
Hormones swooned into high-pitched
palpitations as he appeared
on the whitewashed boards—
all awkward and Karate-Kid-like.
Mr. Miyagi meant to make him a man.
We meant for him to make us women,
to capture us in his arms—gently,
like a fly in chopsticks.
We dreamt of maturity and sophistication,
the kind that would know
just what to say when we met . . .
The crackle of sun-scorched speaker,
a tinny soundtrack revelation,
and a little brother moonboot
thumping the ceiling from inside
shouting to share the Red Vines
abruptly brought us back—alarm clock style.
We hit snooze and wondered into a world
of Hollywood infamy and young love
where boys and girls held hands
and teens danced in the moonlight.
A world soon rushed away by
windshield wipers in Autumn rain
Trish Hopkinson has always loved words—in fact, her mother tells everyone she was born with a pen in her hand. Trish is co-founder of a local poetry group, Rock Canyon Poets. She is a project manager by profession and resides in Utah with her handsome husband and their two outstanding children. You can follow her poetry adventures at http://trishhopkinson.com/