A strange fog has taken
a one-month lease of the field,
the mountain an everlasting one,
probably at the suggestion
of some skanky lawyer.
Yes, the road has turned slick with September
and a new and fleeing season.
A school bus sticks out its stop sign,
like a tongue. Traffic halts.
A commuter shakes her fist at air.
How I remember those rides to school,
sitting in the third, vinyl seat on the same
side as the quiet driver–too quiet
because she says nothing
when some future delinquent
shoots spitballs her way.
Behind me, two girls with big hair whisper,
pricking me with a pinhead of paranoia.
You never know who the gossips
aim to maim next. You never know
if your shirt is too pink, your thighs too big.
Are my breasts flatter than the teacher’s drone?
How tall is too tall, how short unacceptable?
How loud should I be? Why am I
School never was my favorite subject.
I never cared for mist.
I never became a lawyer. I never did much
of a daily drive. And I never really did learn
to believe in things eternal.
Katherine M. Gotthardt
Copyright October 3, 2013