Today’s Poetry Friday is hosted by Carol at Carol’s Corner .
Packing up the house in which we’ve raised our children, I find tokens of their long past childhood everywhere: tucked in chests of drawers filled with old T-shirts from holiday trips and sports teams, at the bottom of closets along with still-muddy soccer cleats, and in boxes of old photographs labeled “to be organized into albums”. The other day, I came across old school pictures, and was stopped in my tracks by this one in particular:
That morning, we had walked to school and watched from the sidewalk as Mrs. Kaiser stood by her classroom door to greet her A.M. class. That afternoon, we returned again and took our place in the line outside her door. The bell rang, Mrs. Kaiser stepped out, and I remember looking at Ben and seeing his face light up. He could not wait for school to begin.
There were many school and college send offs in the years to come, but that one is my favorite.
As the eight o’clock bell spills
its racket into this mild September,
it is I, not he, who hesitates
in the clamor toward the open doors,
who spots the little ruffian throwing rocks
at the Trash-Master by the swings,
who shyly searches for Room 106,
where Miss Wynn waits with the name tags.
The halls still gust and flow
with the rush of new dresses, the scent
of denim and sharpened pencils.
Eighth-graders arrange themselves
in groups to tower in their nonchalance,
eyeing each other like sprinters at the blocks.
Near 106, a bulletin board
declares “The Season of Changes”
above a paper grove of sugar maples.
He pulls me on, then runs ahead,
fearless, blameless, gone.