First Day (Day 17)

(The prompt for National Poetry Writing Month was to write a “greeting poem.” Some how, that triggered this.)

First Day

My first day of school
was the only time my mother
walked me to the bus stop
which was a good half mile
from my front door.

She put me on a bus with
twenty kids I didn’t know
and waved goodbye as
I pulled away from her
breath fogging the glass from
a face pressed against a window
watching her turn and head home
her back to me
her mind already elsewhere.

I moved out of the bus
part of the herd of kids who
already knew their way around
finding myself standing alone
in a school lobby which smelled
of waxed floors and disinfectant
until a fifth grade girl found me
guided me to class and with that
became my first-ever crush.

I sat at a round table
among other scared children
unsure of what would happen
but remembering that I had to
raise my hand to ask questions and
hoping that I wouldn’t pee myself.

In time I would know everyone:
Richard, who brought a lighter to school
Sara, who talked all the time
Ray, who swallowed a dime
Jesse, who became my best friend
Miss B., who had never taught kindergarten
not that any of us
noticed the difference.

In someone’s mind
I’m “that kid who…”
whatever I did but can’t recall
now that I’m in my 30s and time has
disinfected and waxed my memory.

At the end of August
I’ll be the one
waving goodbye from
outside the bus as it
carries my daughter
away from me.



About semiblind

Bringing you stark existentialism since 1981.
This entry was posted in family, history, NaPoWriMo, people, poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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