I hardly noticed the shift of attention:
when women in aprons intrigued me more
than girls in white dresses.
Look at Aunt Eller, in Oklahoma,
skirt hiked over a red petticoat,
slipping a green French garter up her long leg–
all sense and grace beside calf-eyed Laurey.
And in The Music Man, Mrs. Paroo
flirted easy with Harold Hill,
shook her elegant finger at young Marion
singing simpy dreams of what love should be.
Rosie Brice, too, who taught Fanny everything,
including the difference between love and help.
High school, onstage, in my maroon Paroo dress,
I craved a twinkling stardom of my own.
All that time unconscious, senseless;
but how could I have known?
I need no stars in the sharp light of afternoon.
Now I would not exchange
this confident gaze, experienced smile,
for fluttering eyelids, a rosebud mouth;
Any man worth the trouble knows the difference.
Sadder but wiser, that’s the key.
Now I know the Music Man
would run away with me.
In honor of High School Musical season!