Piedmont Plus Senior Games/SilverArts Gold Medal:  Favorite Memory

Football Captain’s First Attempt at Love

By Bill Pfefferkorn

Finally got a high school
girlfriend, a brown-eyed girl
from South Carolina.
Got to know each other in her basement playroom
after the homecoming game
when I was captain of the unbeaten team.

The parents of my new girlfriend required
that she study in her bedroom every night.
I climbed a poplar tree in her backyard,
inched out on a limb to the sill of her window.
With one foot on the limb and the other on the sill,
I took her hands and she pulled me into her room.
We worked on her homework and had
quiet conversation about Myrtle Beach.

My successful climbing became a regular
event until a nosy neighbor reported
my ascent to her father. The next night
as I had one foot on her window sill
for my nightly visit, her father came
around the corner of the house shouting,
“What is the meaning of this?” I meekly answered,
“Friendship?” He gave a sinister laugh!

I shimmied down the tree and ran
for my life. She was never able
to see me again.
He thought!

Bill Pfefferkorn is a Winston-Salem native and lawyer. He has written many articles and enjoys taking classes each summer at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. Besides writing, he loves to ride his horse and sing in the Centenary United Methodist Church choir.

Piedmont Plus Senior Games/Silver Arts Gold Medal: Poetry

Have You Ever Had a Love Like Mine?

By Bill Gramley

I remember October in her daddy’s woods years ago,
so why not go walking among those amber trees
and let the warm wind wave the oaks and sift the sunlight
onto the moss and twigs beneath our feet? Why not? Why not?
She and I did just that, hand-in-hand, easy, natural, lovely, Then we saw a beech tree by the branch and ran and carved
our names upon its smooth gray skin, circled it with
a heart, so smitten, knife folded, fingers kissed, tender touch,
our journey engraved and firm, so firm, you know. You know.You know.

The leaves are mostly gone now and it’s a bit
colder this autumn day
and cloudy, too. And where’s that tree?
There, there it is! Our names? Where? Where are they?
Oh, yes, I see them up higher, and deeper, too,
kind of gnarled and
burnished, like old silverware they are. Still there! Still. Still.

Have you ever had a love like mine, etched with passion on
a silly old tree? Have you? Have you?
I was just trying to capture her laughter, her love, her October eyes,
and if she were here, surely she would kiss my
fingers again. Surely.
Surely, Surely.

Bill Gramley is a retired Moravian minister and is active with Senior Games. He competes in Masters Track and Field and in his quiet times does pastel paintings. He volunteers to help homeless folk do art and also works with cancer patients through the Sawtooth School for Visual Arts.


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