Urbana High School
the theme of the dance is Hippies, which
is of course a great irony, as the chaperones
(who patrol the room like pale, stodgy
ghosts) will pounce on any kid with
drugs or notions of free love or hope for peace.
the statue of the mascot is an effigy
costumed in tie dye and bell
bottoms. where are you, flower
children? the revelers pose for photos
in front of posters slathered with anti-
war slogans. what was once
a hallmark of revolution has now aged into
senile decoration. the words are
the very same that dripped from
your lips as the policeman swung his club.
(the plastic tie-dyed tablecloths
don’t know that, though.) it’s rich, it’s
all too rich. paper peace signs bob
on strings above the lunchroom
door, jittery. inside is a cavern,
pulsating with popularity, braggadocious
beats careening off the walls. the dancers
are lacquered, shiny, without a hint of
your righteous grime. we are your kin: birthed
into tumult, trying to navigate an ever-
bleakening world. but—progeny of ginsberg—
i cannot even see your echoes. and so i
stand stock-still in the very heart of it,
gazing up at a crisscross of fairy lights amid this
cacophony of gyrations, and think of you.
would you weep at the spectacle? or did you
see it in your mind’s eye all along?
Whether you're a seasoned homecoming veteran or an impassioned anti-activist, Lillian Resnik transports you into a world like no other. Shifting from surreal language to ethereal imagery as its lines transpire, this poem expands far beyond the scope of the few hours of the dance. As the images accrue powerfully, they ineradicably imprint themselves on your mind. The sensation is as if waking from a dream, as when the reality of one thing blurs with the hazy beauty of another.
Lilliana Resnik is a writer and student at Urbana High School in Ijamsville, Maryland who is preparing to graduate in 2020. She is a passionate reader, writer, and, when not writing, is probably at rehearsal for the school play. She would like to thank the 60s activists for their inspiration.
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