how the desk smelled like peanut butter
when you rested your head on it
until you heard like a sing songing bird
the teacher chirp
put your thinking caps on, little boys and girls!
we didn't think we were little
as we fastened on invisible hats
we were there and so we listened
to the Grand Canyon Suite on the classroom record player
over and over
or saw Velvet win the National
on the auditorium screen
each and every spring.
or square danced on an early evening stage
for the P.T.A.
with lukewarm cokes served afterwards
the kind in the green glass bottles.
later it would be layer cakes and
cake walks, penny valentines on stiff cardboard.
I love. I love, oh who? just violets
because they're blue. and foldover bread
with butter and sugar
and Christmas parties on the last day of school
before the snow flies and the tinsel stars.
come out come out wherever you are
and recess when we can play anything.
and pinch frail honeysuckle off the vine.
and midday breaks for ice cream cups
with their flat wooden spoons
and one exact scoop of vanilla
packed to the rim.
and soon, you're home
in the twilight blue again
saying hello to
the backyard moon
your own favorite clouds
you chalked in pastels
on Art Day on manilla paper.
and when it hurts too much
these attics things put by I say
just remember the tall tales in the readers.
Babe the Blue (blue raspberry blue) Ox lumbering through.
and for a while,
The Prioncess Who Never Smiled.
mary angela douglas 7 march 2015;rev. 8 march 2015