Ponyboy’s Poem

Inspired by S.E. Hinton’s book “The Outsiders”

My brothers are at odds with each other
But I wouldn’t trade them out for anyone
I’m grateful for greasers who are my family
I’m proud of Tulsa, the city I’m from

But my pride was tarnished by the Socs
It was foolish of me to walk alone
I should have known they’d hurt me
I always thought I could hold my own

Those guys were in that Mustang
It was in the middle of the day
They pulled up right beside me
Wasn’t much I could do or say

And my best friend, Johnny Cade
Was ganged up in the same way
We’re targets for their aggression
When they’re drunk and ready to play

My parents were in their car at sunset
When a train hit them on the track
It was hell to think they were gone
They weren’t ever gonna come back

Darry got control but he’s not our Dad
Soda dropped out, got a job pumpin’ gas
They say I’ve gotta graduate from school
But I’m failing everything but one class

I’ll write ‘bout the Socs in that Mustang
That afternoon they beat me til I bled
And they night tried to kill me and Johnny
Johnny stabbed Bob, now Bob’s dead

We went to get help from our buddy Dally
He told us where we could lay our heads
Johnny bleached and cut my platinum hair
“Gone With the Wind” was the book I read

We were there for a week then came Dally
He told us we were wanted by the court
And he took us to the DQ for sandwiches
But then our hideout plan was cut short

A bus full of kids were on a field trip there
At the old abandoned church where we hid
And Dally must have dropped a cigarette
We had to save their lives, that’s what we did

Johnny got burned real bad, so did Dally
My brothers came and we hugged
Darry and Soda were happy to see me
They said Johnny was in pain ‘n drugged

The newspaper called us three heroes
But I’m the only one who’s now alive
Dally was killed in a shootout outside
Johnny didn’t have the will to survive

And so I sit here at my desk at our home
I’ll write about Cherry Valance too
She’ll read it and understand me better
But I know what she said to me was true

She’d see me in the halls and say nothing
Even with all the conversations we’ve had
At least we’ll always share the same sunset
Meanwhile I’ll work to be a high school grad

December 15, 2020

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