Wolf Whistle

You hardly ever hear it anymore
but the wolf whistle was unmistakable
then, and turned heads, too.
It was Raymond Biochetti, who
I later learned served serious
time, wolf-whistling up a foxy thing
that turned out to be my mother
at the bus stop outside third
period math class of a childhood
as lost as any whistle. You may
mot even know what I mean, or
if you do you probably haven’t heard
it much. It’s so out of fashion now,
so impolite.
The last time the great
wolf whistled was ’79 and I was three
flights high on a scaffolding with
Robert Otis in Roxbury, and both of us
whistled into the sweet morning air
before it baked us, before a winch
unbuckled, floating us for a moment,
no more, on whatever carried our
song to her. She looked up—what
harm?—and waved at two guys black
and white, tall and short, young
and older just trying to hang on.

:: Larry Moffi, in How to Be This Man: The Walter Pavlich Memorial Poetry Anthology (2003)

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