I once knew a girl named Tammy Sue…
She was the prettiest thing i ever knew.
I never told her that in fact,
Because I was just a lad
Much older now, looking back,
I wonder what if i had?
The day we met was a summer dilly,
Me mum said come for a ride.
“I’ve got a friend near the eastern lillies,
with a daughter about your size.”
Mum, mum i cried,
why must we always twirl?
You know i don’t like leaving the house,
much less for meeting girls!
“Get your butt in the car,”
She said with that look…
of peril i’ve seen before.
So i skedaddled my butt
Into the seat –
And then i closed the door.
Wind, wind, rushing us by,
Passed a stop sign or two.
Then up a hilly drive,
On in to meet my rue…
Once inside the living room,
Family portrait on the wall.
One of them pretty!
And spinning around i found –
also very tall.
She was indeed quite pretty,
and so i couldn’t figure why…
She seemed quite curious of me,
As if she’d never seen a guy.
And there I am, Just John you see,
A guy with never nothing.
That such a pretty girl as my Tammy,
would search for any something.
She wasn’t just looking at my eyes, you know?
She reached in through the hole.
And nestled in next to me
On the day she touched my soul.
Over the years I’ve wandered much,
And have wondered of Tammy Sue.
And I regret some things i’ve done.
And things i didn’t do.
When I tell you, it will be hard for you,
but even harder for me now grown.
Because on that day of long ago blue,
I walked away, and left Tammy alone.
Eyes so brightly enigmatic,
and that I did not merit.
For i was but a rough shod relic,
Just a slimy little ferret.
There’s a rule of attraction
I’ve always known to be…
A girl as pretty as Tammy,
Was never meant for me.
Against the feelings in my bones,
And though I was never sure,
I left my Tammy all alone,
For I wasn’t worthy of her.
Poet’s Notes about The Poem
That’s the same station wagon we seven kids would ride in during our biweekly trips to grandparents in Indianapolis. There was a girl in this story but her name was not ‘Tammy.’ I changed it to protect her innocence. And I don’t remember if the ‘boob’ incident was before or after the explosion, but think probably before. I was only seven at that time if I remember correctly. She was a close friend of sister Sue and often ‘slept over’ at our home. One day as she walked past my bedroom she saw me sleeping in only my tighty-whities – which is pretty much how I still sleep today. But she teased me about it incessantly and I just hated that! It seemed so embarrassing. I didn’t want a girl seeing me in my underwear! So one time she came with us on our trip to Indianapolis. After a long visit she and Sue declared that they would sleep in the back of the station wagon on the way home – which is where we little ones were stationed. So here was my chance! After the four others in the back had all fallen asleep – in the dark night listening to the hum of the tires on the pavement – I moved toward ‘Tammy’ and slid my hand and arm very slowly up her shirt. I thought that if I could squeeze her breast and wake her up then she would be embarrassed and never tease me again. Unfortunately after i moved my arm and hand over her soft, smooth, warm skin and tummy, and cupped her breast in my hand, something came over me and suddenly I decided not to go through with it. I didn’t understand it at the time, of course, i was only seven, but I knew enough that I would never want to embarrass, or hurt anyone who made me feel like I just felt that dark night in the back of that wagon. Weeks later she teased me again and I just blurted it out: ‘I squeezed your boob when we went to Indianapolis! ‘ She didn’t look shocked at all. In fact she put her hand on my shoulder and said ‘I know. That was nice.’ She never teased me again. Women. After all these years i still don’t understand them. And I don’t think she lost any relatives in the explosion. She remains just one of the many women I have come to love during my trek through this life. If you ever read this, ‘Tammy, ‘ wherever you are now, I thought it was nice too. Thank you for visiting.