River RoadNatalie Hopper
River Road isn’t River Road anymore,
And that grass expanse is a proper parking lot.
No one would dream now
Of eating fried chicken and canned beans there
On the oversized trunk of an oversized Oldsmobile
Before starting the mile-long walk
You always knew I wasn’t going to finish.
Somewhere around the quad I’d ask
The question that you dreaded.
You’d groan that I was too big for this shit
But lift me over your head all the same.
We walked miles on Saturdays,
Across campus and up spiral ramps,
To seats that required binoculars,
But you always splurged for a program,
Hotdogs, and Cokes in souvenir cups.
I gave you hell about the cheap seats,
Parking so far away,
And only ever seeing three quarters of a game,
But you knew where the value was:
So we never rushed our pre-game picnic
And always left before the post-game traffic could catch us.