by Ann Walters
All the kids called her Foxy Roxy.
The boys whistled at her long legs
arching up from high heels,
her sweaters clinging.
The girls wanted to be those knowing eyes,
that pageboy smooth and sleek.
It seemed like telephone poles were
placed just for her to lean against.
The white vinyl purse hanging
by loops of gold chain invited speculation.
Tampon was a favorite word
of the seventh graders.
The principal didn’t like the way
she played music while the students
worked. He kept moving her radio
farther from the outlet.
The rumors were wrong, the football
coach wasn’t even interested in girls.
Ms. McGee polished her nails at lunch
but they never seemed to dry in time,
leaving little red kisses on the papers
she passed back before the bell.
On the school bus, all the kids understood
the song, the plaintive cry: Roxanne.
ANN WALTERS lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her poems have appeared in juked, Umbrella, Literary Mama, Poet Lore, Poetry International, and many others. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.