Poetry       Essays       Letters

Sandy Lyne



It is impossible
for first graders
to walk in silence
in a straight line
in the hall,
but that’s what
we tell them
to do.
This one has to
and this one has to
whisper not to
and this one has to
lift his feet high
as if walking on
sticky glue,
and this one
needs to twirl
softly, softly,
and one must
write with fingers
in invisible ink
on the nearest wall.
One boy with
a twisted look
twists his twisted hair.
Another boy,
every fourth step,
bumps his head
on the wall.
A girl examines
the hem
of her dress.
A girl
in a wheelchair
goes by.
All the children
stop to look.
“Keep moving,”
the teacher says.
Someone ought
To charge for this—
best show of
the day,
innocent maps
of who they are.


© The Estate of Sandford Lyne



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