The Jersey boys and me
Kristin Henry

Oh what a night.

Music is a fast ride.
With the first rolls
of that old drum intro
I was snared.
Tonight I’ve galloped
years across the world
to my young singing self.

‘Late December back in ‘62

and his name was Larry. Garry?
Good looking Lutheran kid with a big ass.
What you remember!
I was fifteen.
Larry Garry sounded
just like Frankie Valli.
Wore the sharp suits, knew the moves,
walked like a man, big ass and all.
That trademark falsetto
shrilling through my high school.
Four part harmonies
tight as the in crowd.
Those guys were everywhere in ’62.
Tonight it’s not the century
that’s sixty two but me.

Now up on stage
four slick reincarnations
shu-bopp me back into my seat
Row F, Number 7.

My second ex-husband turns in F8
toward F6 and F9
where his new girlfriend and mine
chuckle good-naturedly
at the symmetry of things.
Oh Garry Larry,
who knew, who knew?
How many surprises has life thrown you?

Big girls don’t cry.

I can see myself back then –
a big girl crying every couple of months
in some dark teenage tunnel –
but the boys are always waiting at the end,
in my personal circle of blue sky,
four pompadoured, wah wahing
silhouettes in the sun.

Previously published in Platform (Issue 9, June 2011), a Victoria University TAFE publication.

Kristin Henry is the author of five collections of poetry and two non-fiction books. Melbourne-based, Kristin has read and performed her work across Australia, in the United States and the United Kingdom