Kinder-Garden

February 6th, 2009
A breeze always blows through this grassy meadow
of five year olds, arms waving, fingers poking, flower
heads bending on slight stems. I sway above them,
tell stories, try to name the butterflies that flutter from

their small mouths, upper and lower case letters
winging across a white paper sky. It’s my job
to drop breadcrumbs, a path they can follow through
the once dark forest of reading and writing. But, how swiftly

they shift and change—the least wind ruffles their leaves,
turns them into riots of flight, rackets of laughter, a surfeit
of squawking. To call this flock back, I scatter sunflower seeds
on snow, sprinkle a poem’s first syllables across the classroom.

By the second line, their voices lift with mine, a chirping song
flies out the door. Rising, we look down on school buildings
like rows of blocks we’ve stacked on the alphabet rug. We soar

from stanza to stanza, a warm draft stealing us up
and up. From this height, even the soccer field
with its lone ball shrinks—a green and white puzzle
piece set adrift on an asphalt sea. Listen
to the hum of our sing-song rhymes and riddles,

watch little fingers minic the climb and fall of itsy-bitsy spiders,
how small, chubby hands can hug big, fat pumpkins, and oh,
how we make the raucous rain pour down in pails and buckets!

For the breath of a poem, we’re all the world’s flowers
and all the soaring birds, we are the blue, blue sky.

Copyright © 2007 Kathleen Flowers. May not be republished without permission.

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