Last Day of Fifth Grade

I wake up and I’m still in the last row
of Mr. Yeman’s class, staring
into the parking lot light.
Alice Gavelston is pressing her palms
into her thighs
while next to me, Andy puzzles rhombuses
and Alice Gavelston.

I know this is our deliverance
to the inevitable concussion of sixth grade.
I know this means sports
teams and acne,
but I’ve seen it all, in a dream,
or somewhere bright with truth.

I walk to the front and write
on the blackboard in red marker,

I have seen this light before

and reach for Alice’s hand.
Mr. Yeman doesn’t flinch,
says just like his son,
I’m an old soul, too precocious already
for middle school.

Added: February 17, 2012 | Last changed: May 11, 2014