Once when young, when
boys still thought girls silly
to be avoided or teased
and boys who like the company of girls thought sissy
Nothing could be worse
except a few months later
when everybody still remembered and
everything had changed
when boy and boy, was far worse than girl and boy.
Then they teased us about the time we rode home double
me peddling, him on the rack – clutching me.
Razzing declined to add there was nothing
for him to hold on
or the school bus had failed to show up.
It was an awkward memory for both
for the rest of schooldays.
My pillion hitchhiker – hugger they said
before he turned 21.
The teasing had stopped by then
but on the afternoon he was lowered into the earth
I would have gladly swapped the shock and sorrow
for of lifetime of ribbing.