Aelgifu of Northampton Falls for The Leader of the Pack, 1016
By the way, where'd you meet him?
I met him at the candy store
He turned around and smiled at me
You get the picture? (yes, we see)
— "Leader of the Pack," the Shangri-Las
There's just something about a man on a motorcycle
that makes all the girls crazy, and Aelgifu's no exception.
All she does is entwine her name with his on her chalkboard
and stare out of the window with a half-smile on her face.
She's going to get an F in Norwegian, but doesn't care:
she has her sights set on bigger things, like being Queen
and having his babies. Her folks are always putting him down,
but it's her friends she wants to impress, flashing the ring he gave her
as if it was a real wedding band. She's perfected her look
for the history books, big black bouffant and eyeliner,
real sixties chic. She doesn't see the end
coming at her like tires slipping from the road
on a rainy night, her friends in the background screaming
Look out! Look out! Look out! Look out!
as her boyfriend ditches her for another woman,
who's smarter, older, and French besides.
Now, she paces about her room alone, thinking about
her folly as her tears blur his name on the slate,
turning Cnut into Canute for decency's sake.
Author Discusses Poems