Monday, April 5, 2021

First Day of School by Norma DaCrema

With a dew-gold sheen
still tossed like a sheet
over the whole sleepy world,
a small sorrow is unfolding
for a mother squirrel--
her nest dislodged,
her young undone,
writhing hairless on the road.
The school bus will stop.
Frantic, all chatter and arms,
she pulls her little ones
–stunned, blind, barely living–
to safety at the curb
until only the still one remains.

In stiff backpacks and fresh sneakers,
our children mull over last traces of breakfast
as in silent confederacy
we arrange ourselves in sad rows,
casting shadows just so
the sad things stay there.

Those lessons can wait.

Norma DaCrema is a veteran high-school teacher of Religion and English at an independent girls' school in Pennsylvania. A first-year student in Arcadia's low-residency MFA program in Creative Writing, she has published in The Lyric and SkyWave magazine. She lives in Rosemont with her son and four cats, including Bad Randy.

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