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The Midnight Watch

This will make my children/grandchildren sick…

She has always been my girl, my main squeeze.
But tonight we are the chaperones.
Four hundred teenagers on a countdown to midnight
Balloons and party favors at the ready.
Goodbye old, hello new.
Which are we?
Nine o’clock.
The music is loud, the crowd thin.
Armed with a Mini-Mag flashlight we walk our beat
Checking classrooms for young lovers
Finding memories.
She has always been my girl, my heart mate.
Tonight we are the chaperones.
Ten o’clock.
The cultural hall is full and the giggling girls move in unitized packs
Back and forth between the dance floor and the restroom
Hands covering their mouths as if they could slow the stream of runonsentances.
Tall boys, hands in pockets, meander on that thin edge
Between dancer and spectator,
Their eyes avoiding direct contact with the objective.
These are still months away from making a move but patrol as if in the hunt.
Eleven o’clock.
After hours of shoulder-to-shoulder gyration
The elevated temperature and sweat in the air betray the crepe paper camouflage;
This is a gymnasium.
Some escape to the parking lot to watch breath freeze into the air,
As dolphins breaching, spouting, then diving back in again.
There is a side room containing board games
And Mousetrap
Played by awkward young men with breaking voices.
A five minute countdown.
The pointed hats are donned.
The game of Life is suspended.
The mouse remains uncaptured.
Twelve o’clock.
The horn sounds, the streamers fly
I drag her to a hidden corner, just behind the artificial palm tree
My lips find hers.
She has always been my girl, my own.
Even if tonight we are supposed to be the chaperones.

Picture of Wes Stephenson

Wes Stephenson

Author, motorcyclist, poet, and adventurer. Let's journey together.



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