Second Class

In the Cub Scouts, I did fine, Wolf, Bear, Lion no problem.
I mean at Mrs Bennett’s house just two down from mine,
On Wednesday afternoons, working on badges and arrows,
Silver and gold that we bought at the men’s store on College and Oak
Next to J C Penney’s. I can see the handbook now.

But when it came to Boy Scouts, Second Class was the best I could do.
I really don’t know why. I’ve thought about it sure, again and again.
I mean this is a great failure in my life. Others got first class,
Life, Star, and Eagle with lots of merit badges. I got none.

It wasn’t that I didn’t like Boy Scouts or didn’t participate.
I loved Boy Scouts in the basement of St Luke’s Episcopal Church,
At summer camp in Glendale, Colorado or weekend hikes and camps
With burnt cherry pie cooking in the Dutch Oven on the coals.
After making wallets and lanyards and plastic bracelets with our names.

I proudly wore my scout uniform to school on Mondays.
My red and white scarf was tied with a square knot.
In case anyone tried to strangle me it would slip out.
I wore my Troop 71 badge the appropriate distance from
My left shoulder seam and Long’s Peak Council on the right.

Imagine my shame when I went on into Explorer Scouts after
We moved to Loveland my sophomore year while
Still holding only the Second Class badge.
Now my uniform was forest green with white kerchief
But the Left Pocket still had only half of the First Class badge.

And so I went to college at the University of Colorado
Where I could take Air Force ROTC instead of gym.
But after two year of good grades and no rank on my sleeve or collar,
I had to drop out because they didn’t like that
I got airsick. Such is my life in uniform.

Now I am a nudist and don’t worry about it anymore.
But I have two tattoos, a Turkey Vulture and
a Zuni Bear Fettish. I awarded them to me myself.


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