She developed faster than the other girls,
breasts and behind standing out like
neon signs shining at night.
All the boys took a look,
including myself, the nerdy kid
hauling an oversized backpack
on my shoulders and an oversized
gut on my midsection, to and fro
across the middle school campus.
Look at me!! Look at me!!
That's what I wanted to say,
the preteen experiencing his
first taste of infatuation, wondering
what I could possibly do
just to have a touch, but also knowing
that making honor roll and being
super responsive to a teacher's
calling out a question
would not do the trick.
Days in the fall were
the time for football, always noted
by the players wearing their
jerseys at school on game days,
baby blue meshings with white
numerals on the front and back.
Jerseys sauntered all around the
campus, dotting the student body
with blue dots, but these dots were not
worn by the players, for the jerseys were worn
by the girls, finding their boyfriends or friends
or soon-to-be friends, donning the baby blues,
making the players look like everyone one
as they simply wore their normal garb.
These girls pranced around campus,
princesses for the day, numbers
of the players adorned on their backs.
That girl I liked did like the others one day,
wearing my friend's number 88
all day, the eights jutting outward
across her young shapely torso.
And there I was with my
oversized backpack and
oversized gut unnoticed,
fading into the masses,
just another middle school student.
I cursed everyone that day.
I cursed my doctor for suggesting
that I shouldn't even play
for the simple reason that I was
going to grow faster than normal.
I cursed my parents for going along
with his opinions and
keeping me off the field.
I even cursed my friend for being on the team.
He was last string but on those days
even last string put you up front.
I cursed her for wanting to wear
a jersey from someone who
didn't even play. And after
all that cursing, I felt this
surge of emotion swelling inside,
a force of nature that wanted to
call out to tell the world I existed
Look at me!! Look at me!!
I got all my math problems right!
I spelled every word correctly
on my English paper!
I know where the cranium and
the clavicle are on the human body!
I know all about Jamestown!
Yo hablo español!
¿Como esta usted?!? Muy bien!
But the school bell rang. Another period
done, time to move to the next.
Me and my oversized backpack
slung over my shoulders, me and my
oversized gut bulging from my midsection,
a kid lost among the masses, envying
the players on the football team,
wondering if one day somebody
would look at me.