Maynard couldn't read.
His first grade teacher noted he'd be
a dirt farmer like his father, and every year,
another teacher just moved him on through.
Consolidation closed the school. Paint peeled,
mortar gave way on comer bricks, and covered
walkways sagged. Finally, it sold,
served seven years as a shirt factory,
then burned, except for the gym built in the
mid-fifties at the back of the ball-field.
A billboard, saying simply MAYNARDíS, towers
where the Seven Springs School sign once stood.
An arrow points toward the gym.
On 95.1 on your dial, Maynard's tells
of the stars, the live bands, and the largest
hardwood dance floor in North Carolina.
Maynard sports cowboy boots on his floor.
This sacred floor where, his teachers stressed,
he was blessed to be allowed to play on
one day a week in off season.
This glorified floor where,
because he didn't have sneakers,
he was forced to walk outside
the black lines of outer bounds to get
to the bleachers to remove his shoes,
so he'd leave no black marks on the floor.