Monday, July 30, 2007

Poetry Train Monday - 12 - Playground Politics Grade 1

This is the first part of a two-poem piece recounting significant events that happened to me in elementary school.

Playground Politics Grade 1

Even to my Third Eye
Turned me into a bad kid
In the space of a hundred yards

Upon waking that morning
My cells had replaced themselves
I remained the same girl whom
My daddy had kissed goodnight
My body fit my clothes
As Mommy helped me with the
Zipper at the back
My friends recognized me
And walked with me to school

On the playground
I crawled with the others
Through tunnels we carved
Through the bushes
Leaving the others to swing and slide
Preferring life at the edge of the concrete
Past which
Lay unknown terrain
The teacher on duty
Would have to send search parties
Decked out in space suits
To poke among the craters

The mutating gene
I looked down the path
Hearing the cries leaking through
From the other dimension
I checked for Mrs. Sturman
The wind screamed past my ears
The sound of my steps on the packed earth
Reverberating in my chest
I felt two others behind me
All it took was one step
And my rebels bolted
On the coattails of their liberator

We reached the edge of the trees
To my horror
We stood at the foot
Of a manicured lawn
Intruders in some backyard
The others fled
Frightened by the skull-socket windows
I dawdled
Turning my back
Hoping that the presence of
My comrades had played the trick
And the voices
Might yet beckon through the green

I emerged from the solace of my sylvan interlude
An angry hand gripped my arm -
Stand against the wall
Until the bell rings!
The universe as I had come to know it
Suddenly splintered

Slowing my vital signs

All I could do
Was stand there
As if I were a
Bad Kid

And suddenly
The ones playing hopscotch
Seemed like long lost sisters
Instead of the
Whining dullards
I had always known them to be

Copyright 1987 Julia Smith