My school days, saddle shoes, skirt and top. Their school daze, slippers, top and “cozy” pants. My school days, chalkboard in big classroom. Their school daze, computer screen and clicking keys. My school days, penmanship lessons with nun in long habit. Their school daze, zoom math with talking head, mute button and breakout rooms. My school days, long walk there in rain or snow. Their school daze, bed to desk with bathroom stop. My school days, so long ago. Their school daze, one big blur in one lost year.
Written for NaPoWRiMo, Day 10‘s prompt which asked us to recall lyrics to a song we know, then look in a junk drawer in our house and see what’s in it…and then come up with a poem that somehow weds the two. For whatever reason, I thought of the old song School Days which my mother used to sing to me when I was young; and which I sang to my grandchildren when they were young. The drawer yielded a ruler and I won’t tell you what else! I started thinking about this past Covid year and what it’s done to children in terms of their school days….and voila, here’s the result.
Box of colored chalk in hand, hmmm…. how do I do this again? First, pick the perfect sidewalk spot. White chalk, start close, draw one square. Yellow chalked rectangle on top, divide it into two and three. White chalk again, I like consistency. Draw square four, same as one. Green rectangle right above that, evenly make into five and six. White me a seven. Orange rectangle next, divide precisely into eight and nine. Sky blue ten crowns them all, all squares point to heaven. Brush straggly gray hair off face. Ooh yes, scratch nose where it itches. Small rock in hand, stand steady, stand tall. Neighbor man walks by and smiles, stares at my colorful cheeks and nose. “Hi” I say. “Care to play?” “Nah” he says, “but you go ahead.” So . . . stoop and throw . . . hopscotch through my private rainbow right on up to that promising blue.