In the Wild

We were just doe-eyed first-graders, fawning

over those who sat in the back of the rickety school bus, our skinny

legs and protruding stomachs only emphasizing our age. We pressed

our tanned faces into the shaking cold glass windows as the older kids

cast heavy shadows over us. We were skittish

in a scraped-knee tough way, our lips pulled tight in a smirk that

was more like a grin: mouths still too young to understand sarcasm.

Six Butler Ave slipped out of sight and it would be

two meals, seven hours, and fifteen minutes of recess before home.

Before Oprah and Potato Stix and milk stirred with molasses.

Before the adrenaline stopped flowing and our heart rates slowed,

before we were the oldest again.