Elementary School

Elementary School

Charlotte Friedman

The school, deserted now, leftover crayon drawings
taped to windows, empty four-square & swings
barely moving in a breeze. I duck under yellow caution tape,
grab the thick chains, stretch my legs and lean
back in time, to another school, three thousand miles
from here. Watch me stride across the playground,
kicking up fresh sawdust curls. At the high bar, boys
try pull-ups, while girls balance on steel
like blue birds in a row, until, one after another,
they drop, push off backwards, catch the bar
under their knees, swing upside down, bodies
rising in the air, high enough to let go
and land. I want that. I want to drop
and spin, flip and fly, arms
stretched up and out
in triumph, life
just beginning.

Charlotte Friedman

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