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The Love Song of S. Patrick Tabb, Sixth Grade

March 26, 2014

Poppin’ wheelies

Let us go then, you and I,

When the evening is spread out against the sky,

Well, more like early evening actually,

My mom wants me home before nine;

Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,

Upon our Huffys with banana seats,

And bitchin’ ape hanger handlebars;

Streets that lead down to the beach,

To a place called the Wianno Club

Where they’re having a kids’ dance tonight;

There’s a girl there who I want to see…

Oh, do not ask, “Who is it?”

Let us go and pay a visit.


In the room the children come and go

Talking of Mork & Mindy, their favorite show.


The light fog that settles on the ocean,

And curls like smoke over the beach,

Conceals a shark the size of a school bus;

Have you seen the movie Jaws?

Based on a true story, right here on Cape Cod;

There’s a lady skinny dipping on the poster,

About to be eaten by a shark;

You can see her boobs and everything!

I want one for my bedroom.


And indeed there will be time

For the light fog that settles on the ocean,

And the shark that eats the naked lady,

And for me to figure out how to get one of those posters;

There will be time, there will be time

To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;

They’ll recognize us, some of them anyway,

The ones from our fifth grade class, for sure;

Time for you and time for me

To put on our disguises,

Our sunglasses and fake moustaches;

What do you mean, you forgot them?!

You are the worst wingman ever.


In the room the children come and go

Talking of Welcome Back, Kotter, their other favorite show


And indeed there will be time

To wonder, “Do I dare?”

Do I dare ask her to dance?

What if everybody stares?

(They will say: “Look at his greasy hair!)

My cut-off corduroys, my “Keep on Truckin’” tee,

My tube socks not quite covering the scabs upon my knees,

(They will say: “How can he be so skinny?!”)

Do I dare

Ask her out on a date?

In a minute there is time,

Although maybe we should turn around. It’s getting kind of late.


For I have known them all already, know them all:

Every episode of Gilligan’s Island, and The Monkees, too;

I have measured out my life with Mountain Dew;

Have known the boring summer days on end,

Have driven my bike by her house a thousand times,

Though she never comes out, it’s true,

What else is a sixth grade boy to do?

And how should I presume?


Shall I say things to impress her,

Say I’ve seen Star Wars 27 times, and draw cartoons?

Shall I say I found a diamond ring in a box of Cracker Jacks,

And once I ate three dozen macaroons?


I should have been a hermit crab

Scuttling across the floors of silent seas,

Either that or shark food.


Here we are, Wianno,

Country club for the well-to-do,

Tennis whites and golf caddies, blue blazers in the dining room;

Do you hear that music blaring?

Blondie’s Heart of Glass;

Do you see those boys in chinos and collared shirts,

And girls in bright sundresses?

Do you think they’ll let us past?

(They will say: “Not so fast.”)


Should I, after coming all this way,

Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?

Should I demand they let us in?

I have no idea what I would say;

We would be shunned forever

For our ruinous etiquette;

I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,

I have seen that snotty kid Brad in the tasseled loafers snicker,

And in short, I’m reconsidering.


Let’s stay here for a while on our bikes,

Let’s keep our distance,

You keep watch, see if she comes out,

While I practice popping wheelies.


And would it have been worth it, after all,

Would it have been worth while,

If she had met me at the door with a wave and a smile,

And after some small chat,

She called me “Steve”?

That is not my name at all. That is not it at all.


No! I am not Steve, nor was meant to be;

I am Sean; from school,

Quiet, shy, the one they call “four eyes”,

The one who brings his lunch every day

In a greasy paper bag,

The one who cannot climb the rope in gym,

“Sean, Sean, the leprechaun,

Went to school with nothing on,”

Remember me?

At times almost ridiculous –

Almost, at times, a fool.


I grow old…I grow old…

I wear the bottoms of my Toughskins rolled,

Because my mom buys them too long.


Should I wash my hair more frequently?

Should I lose the “Keep on Truckin’” tee?

I could dress in Lacoste and Bermuda shorts, and walk upon the beach.

I have heard the rich girls singing, each to each.


I do not think that they will sing to me.


It’s getting late,

The sky above the ocean’s turning red,

If we leave now we can make it home

To catch the end of What’s Happening!!

And then it’s time for bed.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Bill permalink
    April 1, 2014 8:14 pm

    More Obi-Wan.

    • sean tabb permalink*
      April 3, 2014 6:29 pm

      In the original script of Star Wars, Jedi fought with cowbells, not lightsabers. True story.

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