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  • Writer's pictureErin Snedeker

5.28.2019: Or Two Days and Counting

The citrusy yellow tang

Dances through the air

Teasing, playful

Cartwheeling across desks,

Sat askew in classrooms next

To the last dregs of homework,

Backpacks with broken zippers

And frayed straps.

Students gnash their teeth at the

First taste of Summer.

Teachers count the minutes

To the end of the class, the day, the week

A young woman curls her hair with shaking fingers

Going to an interview for a job

She feels too small to fill.

She goes anyway, and grows to fill it

A boy sits at home,

Frustrated that he missed the bus,

Knowing that he only has two more days

Before summer begins

Two more days of being this person,

The young woman, a caretaker,

The boy, a little kid,

Safe in the roles they

Know how to play

The next days will bring change

On the hot yellow wind that

Pushes humidity’s breath across

Flat wetlands, and warm salty waves

“Two days and counting,”

All the clocks taunt.

And the mouths water

Of students and teachers alike.

In the evening, a ceremony

With gold embossed certificates

And printed calligraphy.

Toss your caps in the air!

And on the lips of parents

And children, Sweet

Orange, Sour Lemon

Tease the promise of Summer

“Two days and counting,”

And the clocks march march

March along unendingly.

“Two days and counting.”

Heat and thunder herald

Summer’s approach,

With her farewells, and change

And her lavish adventure

The young woman and the boy

Sit next to each other at the ceremony,

Nervously, eagerly awaiting

The principal to call his name

They travel together

Across the stage,

She on jelly legs and

He tucked into his wheelchair

They have gotten used

To travelling together.

And the ever looming farewell

Makes their steps uncertain

"Two days and counting,"

The clocks chime

Merrily, like sunshine

Bright and yellow and warm

Finally, across the stage

The boy and the young woman

Return to their seats

Two more days

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