Counted to Ten: An Erasure of “The Trolley Song”

[With my] high-starched collar and my high-top shoes,

And my hair piled [high] upon my head,

[I] went to [lose] a jolly hour on the trolley and lost my heart [instead.]

[With his] light brown derby and his bright green tie,

[He was] quite the handsomest of men,

I started to yen so I counted to ten

Then I counted to ten [again.]

[Clang, clang, clang went] the trolley,

[Ding, ding, ding went] the bell,

[Zing, zing, zing went] my heartstrings,

From the moment I saw him [I fell.]

[Chug, chug, chug went] the motor,

[Bump, bump, bump went] the break,

[Thump, thump, thump went] my heartstrings,

When he smiled I could feel the car [shake.]

[He tipped] his hat and took a seat,

[He] said he [hoped] he hadn’t stepped upon my feet.

He asked my name, [I held my breath,]

[I] couldn’t speak because he [scared me] half to death.

[Buzz, buzz, buzz went] the buzzer,

[Flop, flop, flop went] the wheels,

[Stop, stop, stop went] my heartstrings,

[As he] started to go [then I started] to know

How it [feels,]

When the universe [reels.]

[The day] was bright, the air was sweet,

[The smell] of honeysuckle charmed you off your feet,

You [tried] to sing [but couldn’t] squeak,

[In fact] you loved him so [you couldn’t even speak.]

[Buzz, buzz, buzz went] the buzzer,

[Flop, flop, flop went] the wheels,

[Stop, stop, stop went] my heartstrings,

As he started [to leave,]

[I took hold of his] sleeve with my [hand,]

And [as if it were] planned.

[He] stayed on [with me]

And it was grand just to stand

With his hand holding mine[To the end ]of the line.



Megan Cannella (she/her) is a Midwestern transplant currently living in Nevada. Her debut chapbook, Confrontational Crotch and Other Real Housewives Musings, is out now. She is an editor at Versification. You can find Megan on Twitter at @megancannella.

Categories: Poetry

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Shawn Berman runs The Daily Drunk. You can follow him on Twitter @Sbb_writer.

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