Homecoming Queen and the Football Star

1953, USA --- Original caption: 1953-A homecoming queen smiles and waves from the back seat of a convertible. --- Image by © Jack Moebes/CORBIS
1953, USA — Original caption: 1953-A homecoming queen smiles and waves from the back seat of a convertible. — Image by © Jack Moebes/CORBIS


The homecoming queen

and the football star

out on a date

in Daddy’s car.

They’re the popular kids

in the town’s high school

that plays by

its own set of rules.

She wears a gown

and traditional crown.

He holds a pigskin

and helmet for the pose.

He’s the cream of the crop

and she – the unblemished rose.

After high school they’ll marry

and raise a mess of kids.

And some Saturday night

they’ll sit reminiscing

over the way things used to be:

before she wore aprons

and pockets of fat,

and he had hair

under his helmet

and the spare tire

rested in the trunk.

Their children vie

for the titles this year.

They keep the spirit of harvest alive

in small towns across America.

They’re the homecoming queen

and the football star…

the heart of the parade

in the convertible car.

© Kathleen M. Rodgers  ~ Alaska 1986


My poem inspired Denise Norris to purchase these charms for her mother, Johnnie Dale Norris, who was a homecoming queen and whose husband was a football star.
My poem inspired Denise Norris to purchase these charms for her mother, Johnnie Dale Norris, who was a homecoming queen and whose husband,Dennis, was a football star.

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Author of the novels The Final Salute, Johnnie Come Lately & Seven Wings to Glory. Former contributor to Family Circle Magazine and Military Times. Future work represented by agent Diane Nine, Nine Speakers Inc.

19 thoughts on “Homecoming Queen and the Football Star”

  1. Interesting and fun, Kathleen. Were you a homecoming queen? (Not that I think this is necessarily about you, but about small town American dreams of so many girls.) Probably because my mom was an education freak, I didn’t have these dreams, but they were alive and well in the town of Mexico, MO where I lived until I was 12.

    1. No, I was never a homecoming queen, Elaine, although I envied the beautiful and popular girls who were selected to wear the crown. In my need to fit in when I was younger, I always looked to outer beauty as the mark of achievement. Writing this poem when I was 27 was part of my healing process. I learned that no matter who we are in high school, we have the chance to go out into the world and find our way. My way became writing and writing gave me a place to call my own. I think this simple poem really speaks about the cycles of life, and the aging process that happens to all of us who are lucky enough to grow old. Hope this helps. Thanks for your endless support, and thanks for being such a fantastic guest blogger this week. Your post was a big hit. 🙂

  2. I love your poem, Kathy. We’ve talked about it before. I was the homecoming queen and Dennis the football star, so it touches lots of sweet memories in my life. I love the way you bring wonderful feelings into your writings. Hugs to you for this poem.

    1. Dear Sweet Johnnie Dale – I remember so vividly the day we talked on the phone about this poem and how it affected you and Dennis when you read it out loud to him. If my memory serves me correctly, you were sitting out on the porch sipping diet sodas and watching the birds. I hope you cherish those earlier memories of your youth and take heart in knowing you both are still at the top of your game because you’re still devoted 100% to each other, you raised two fine daughters, and you have many friends and you continue to bless so many lives. You sure have blessed mine. 🙂

      1. I’ve loved re-reading your poem and seeing my charms and reliving such sweet memories. After 50 years of marriage and through the worries of fighting cancer, we still feel like the homecoming queen and the football star….at times. LOL You are a talented writer and author and have a wonderful way with words. Love and hugs. <3

        1. Dear Johnnie Dale,

          I had no idea when I penned this poem in 1986, that one day you and I would meet, and I would learn that my words touched you and Dennis on a very deep level.
          Much love and hugs. And congrats on being married for 50 years. Now that is something to celebrate!!

    1. Hi Geri – So honored you took a moment from your busy writing schedule to stop by and read my poem. So glad we are friends and sisters “of the pen.” Good luck on your next novel. I know it will be so good. You are an excellent storyteller. 🙂

    1. Hi Kris – So honored to have you visit my blog. Thanks for reading my poem, “She’s Come Undone.” The funny thing about writing this poem is that I actually felt empowered and energize by it for days. 😉 Many thanks also for being featured on your powerful blog, REAL WOMEN’S BODIES.

  3. Kathy, the picture of the charms with your poem touched me so much. Denise was so sweet to think of this for a Christmas present for me this year. In life, we never know how we will touch someone, Your poem you penned several years ago came around and touched my life in a wonderful way. Keep writing whatever you do. You have a gift of touching lives. Love and hugs to you.

    1. My Dear Johnnie Dale,

      I am so grateful you are in my life. One day we will meet in person. Maybe after “Johnnie Come Lately” is published. Wouldn’t that be fun? All those years ago when I wrote “The Homecoming Queen and the Football Star,” I had no idea I would actually meet the people I was writing about. I love you!


  4. Dear Kathleen,

    I love the poem and the photo. It looks like a 1953 Chevy which is what my parents got the year I was born. (Yep, the car and I were both new).
    Back to the poem…so much story in few words. Thank you for sharing it.



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