IN THE HEYDAYS OF HIS EYES
(taut jeans dancing)

An Anthology of Poetry about Being Young and Growing Up
 
 
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ONE ROOM

Diane Dawber

The one-room school sitting for its photograph could have been my students and the faces are not happy June ones— one girl worried about her dark dress amidst the light frilly ones, two boys uncomfortable in jackets, the rest scolded solemn as if the teacher were taking mug shots. I know that the lad on the left who climbed the schoolyard pine and threw down the hawk’s eggs, bombing the future, died later by drowning, dumped from his canoe. I wonder if the girl in the middle, blessed with alcoholic parents, now buys overshoes compulsively so her child will never wear plastic sandals in January. And I still see the ones who brought garter snakes, carried water for the drinking urn and pounded blackboard erasers bending over me after the baseball knocked me down at recess and asking if I’m okay. I am, and long to ask them the same.

 
 
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