Mary Prays for Go-go Boots, 1966

Mary Prays for Go-Go Boots, 1966

A fat tire of 45s defied Newton’s law,
suspended high above a blue record player.
Its crackling needle nestled into grooves
of won’t-you-please upstairs in Mary’s room.

She boogalooed to American Band Stand
in saddle shoes or white-polished Keds.
Then knelt at weekday Mass to plead
with her blessed namesake for go-go boots.

Mary said rosaries for Twiggy’s legs and eyes
instead of praying for starving babes in Africa.
She pored over stacks of teen magazines,
clipped soft-lipped boys to share her walls.

She wore white eyeliner, flipped her hair
and longed for go-go boots to do The Pony in.
Short white boots like cool Mary Quant’s,
though her school uniform covered her knees.

Months after The Beatles took over Ed Sullivan
she brought home her longed-for boots.
Not quite the dream pair – black leather
with faux leopard trim from JCPenney.

She practiced The Frug, while the ceiling
shimmied and shook in the living room below.
One prayer answered, she fingered rosary beads,
reciting joyful mysteries for a paper mini dress.

 2009 Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize finalist


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