After lunch we ran
up the stairs, down the hall
far ahead of our keeper,
a poor woman easily five times our years.

We were storms of boots and jackets,
thick, patched snow-pants and woolen socks.
Mittens were lost
hats simply left behind.

Again but faster down the hall
around the corner and through the door.
And out, gone, flying, freezing
falling on slippery-scraped asphalt.

We pushed and jumped and ran and lay -
and threw, until we caught the matron’s eye -
and prayed the bell to break,
though it never did.

We filed in, barely-ordered chaos
soaked and red and numb,
clumsy fingers loosely tying shoes
back to desks and boards and books.

Students, again.
But for a few short minutes, Gods
- if only of the playground…

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