The Angels
by Louis McKee

Adolescence came the night
we were walking back from the playground
after all the basketball we could fit in
before dark, and a loud car pulled up
beside us, four girls, a red Mustang,
the Angels, loud, on the radio,
but they didn't need directions, these girls,
these angels, they knew
where they were going. What they didn't know
was that we were thirteen, not even
in high school that's what they asked us,
What school ya go to? but something told us
to hedge the question, the Angels, loud
girls, too many girl groups, we made fun of them,
Ronettes, Crystals, Shirelles, Shangra-las
but not the Angels. The Angels were okay
for some reason. That should have been a hint.
Things were changing; some things were
already different: a red Mustang and four girls,
the Angels singing, and the lights over the court
had not come on that night, the night
girls pulled up beside us, four guys
and a basketball, a radio loud, girls
singing, and we hedged questions
until they pulled away laughing, loud,
four girls, the red Mustang, amber lights
winking in the distance, music, girl groups,
four, loud, and that last night, Thank you
and goodnight, Thank you and goodnight
of basketball, no lighs, the Angels, the Angels.

Reprinted with permission of the author

Carroll Magazine 2008

Baltimore Sun 2008
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