Walking to School
Walking to school in the morning,
You recited your spelling bee list for me.
The playground was full
Of commotion and sound,
Kids bigger than you
And some the same size too.
Your hand nested in mine
As we stood together in line,
Baptized in our anticipation.
I felt once-removed from all
The connections you were there to make.
In the kindergarten class,
You identified each child for me,
Speaking the syllables of their names
With grave importance.
Your younger friend came up to me
And spoke earnestly, as always,
Telling me he'd seen us walking to school.
Also how he lost a piece of candy
You had given him the day before.
He solemnly assured me
That his mother would not be able to find it.
Then your other friend, the needy one,
Came over with an offering
Of three paper figures he'd colored in
And cut out from a page of homework.
You politely thanked him
As I was struck by your upright posture
And your dignity coming through
Your unselfconscious bearing.
Later that night, you sat up in bed
And cried because you couldn't decide
Who to have romantic feelings for,
But you knew if you didn't choose
You'd be left with nothing;
You wished it were over and decided.
©2018 Michael Fraley
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