the way home.

We were squished together like sardines

in a dark blue hallway,

the linoleum lights giving a warm and tired glow

on our sweaty and tired faces.

Tiny feet beat down on the ground

causing the ringing of drums to spiral

down that black blue hallway.

Then there was me—

tall and wearing too many layers for fall,

straight hair pulled too tightly back in a ponytail,

my tiny fist clinging to my shiny black box of plastic

with the only numbers inside being my mother’s and the house.

 

When the bell rang, the children sprang free

from the confines of the brick school house,

grubby hands pushing and shoving,

tiny feet drumming on pavement

until they hit the grass and took off

running across the hills toward wired fencing.

We all sang when we crossed the wired fence,

our feet slowing to a walk

until our hands found our silver door knobs

and we were finally home.

 

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Prelude

It would soon start to rain, as it does in the rainy season. The sky was grey with light and the clouds formed into a fluffy blanket for the sun. A cool breeze moved swiftly past the army of houses, the roofs a familiar dull brown and structures a blue grey, different from the sky’s shining grey, for it did not bring nearly as much joy.

The cold was insistent, hanging in every crevices the outdoors gave it. No willing soul was outside, and therefore no yearning one either. The neighborhood was old in construction and young in presence. The cement had cracked from little feet pounding away its former glory, the roads worn grey from the drives to school then sport then home again. Neighborhood was filled with quick children, children who’s youth would pass by them with ease leaving only a simple kiss.

Complacency sat on the cracked sidewalk quietly. Complacency did not move from his bike. The bike was baby blue, the kind only really suited for a child. He was small for is age, for you could see it in the scrunchiness of his face. His hair had grown long and curly, a look not meant for boys with dark hair and he knew it. He was a child escaped from the sun, scrawny legs exposed by cheap overalls and a sweater. He had dressed himself today, finally, and while his mother had still cried out when he left, he couldn’t help the small bubble of pleasantry that had filled him.

But for now he was nothing more than complacent and it was ugly on him. Yet he wore it with purpose as he scrunched his face indignantly and curiously ahead of him and over the road to one uniform house. It was plain and ordinary, its only distinction being the lilies by the door.