Field Trip at the Park

NaPoWriMo 2022 // day 14

There was a field trip
at the park today.
First-graders, it looked like.

I entertained myself
imagining them in high school:
that girl will be the popular one,
and the other girl will be
the quiet, shy nerd
always on the fringes
and daydreaming
about being the popular one.

That boy with the short haircut
and the stubby nose
and jittering energy in every limb
will be the cliché jock;
and that one at the back of the line
smiling to himself while he skips the cracks
will be the follower
always getting into trouble.
And that one, with the stiff walk
and bright eyes will be
the theater kid
singing the loudest
and crying himself to sleep at night.

But I shift back to the present.
I just can’t keep from grinning
as they hop, skip, dash, leap, stroll
along the sidewalk
back and forth from the bathrooms
in squads of four and five.

A few have that spacey
glaze over their eyes
and you can see at a glance
they’re a walking body,
unaware of the world
and where they happen to be
in it.
Their busy brain is buried
deep inside
the shell of their skull.

Those airy, starry eyes.
Oof.

Keep them, love,
and stay lost in your own
innocent head.
It’s better in there,
and very beautiful.

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