I recently learned my childhood crush, the youngest of three rambunctious boys, passed away. Since his rascally ten-year- old face is the only one I can conjur, it is
extra hard to believe he is gone.
He lived across the street. His father, a very loud man who knew nothing of
pig-tailed little girls, had composed a song in my very young honor:
Oh, Lisa, the Tower of Pisa!
She bends and she bends, but she never falls down!
It was shouted at me over the years, until this father retired and moved away.
The song always made me feel a little uncomfortable. Maybe it was the shouting.
Maybe I sensed subtle innuendo. But it also made me proud to know I was the
subject of someone’s original ballad.
The song has different meaning now, some 60 years later. It is a song of resiliency,
of survival, of flexibility in the face of gravity and a lifetime of leaning, bending,
straightening, bending again.
I’ve not fallen once. Nor do I plan to anytime soon.