Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022
You all will be allowed a pause from language arts, when your teachers, both of who have become knackered with their voices and the interrupting pips from the class.
Without hesitation, you will place your pencil down on the desk with your smaller, slightly thinner dominant hand. The hand is the one of the pair that is unable to stretch itself to its' full majesty (I always imagine a truncated swan dive when you hold it out to me). Though, if I am being frank, the lack of functionality is imperceptible: unless presented for a medical demonstration. As the hand levels the Dixon with the tabletop, you signal a break from the divination, and the prosaic purpose so elusive to you.
I could call out an apology to you and your mother, but I am certain you will always struggle to grasp and hold the fluid edges of connotation.
As you leave the worksheet smudged and the eraser rounded, and all of you are released from the classroom to the courtyard, every one of you are routed by the sun. In pairs or trios, with hands touching bare elbows or thin wrists, you all skitter across the hardpan in search of a paint spill of darkness under the locust trees. Hips and elbows jockeying for a spot that is not too close to the trash bins full of reek, yellow jackets, and vindictive wasps. With mouths too young to kiss each other, but also too wise to kiss your mother good-bye in public, the group settles into its most natural state ... to stand in the relief of the shade and talk shit about a boy named Jack.
You and your classmates will all sweat through your polo shirts before rehearsing The Necklace this early afternoon.
If you are lucky, Mr. Timothy may call to you through his hedgerow of a beard to come over. You watch him as he tries to turn the compost pile with his broken arm in the same way you would watch a car pass over a side street. It is not all that difficult to separate yourself from your classmates, as Mr. Tim is always ready with a kind word for each and everyone of you. He will hand you the blue plastic basin, a vote of confidence and send you searching for teal duck eggs. Each a hidden, self-contained promise, calcified for convenience in the color of a body of water you have never seen. My boy, you are well aware that the hapless (to you and me) scattering of eggs, may or may not be hidden under the coop with the milk snakes.
On the dirt path to your duties, you will touch what is left of a tree that was struck by lightning over spring break. Fingers sliding across the splintered trunk, feeling for something like the movement of bees cooling a hive, thinking that the electricity might still be sleeping there. You are convinced it will heal you, though you are not sure of what.