Resting Place

For him the classroom was a graveyard,
each desk a headstone.  The graveyard
was lonely and beautiful and from his
perch he could see the rows of people
who could not see him.  At home
he thought about the graveyard and
each morning rose and walked with slow
grace down the sidewalk, trailing
his fingers along the ancient bark of each
trembling aspen in the row that plotted his path,
those trees whose roots pushed
up under the concrete slabs until the slabs
themselves rose or cracked; each morning
he walked toward his graveyard and had to stave
off the pull that wanted him to walk
faster.  Each crease in each tree became a hold
for him to cling to momentarily with the tips
of his fingers before letting go with a
flick—all he could do to stop himself from running.
Once there, he rested, rubbed
the scratched pads of his fingers along the smooth
carved wood of desk and watched as one by one
each grave filled.

 

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