In My School Shoes
by Jill Gabriel
Abandoned one-room schoolhouse murmurs of scabbed knees
chapped lips and stacked textbooks.
I walk in, a giant,
look for initials of puppy love on wooden desks,
look for roots of me.
I sit, wait for a voice from another desk.
Under crown moldings in upper and lower case
the cursive alphabet.
Within the semantics of subject and object
I marked my tidy notebook with choices.
I drew circles and squares
dreamed big and small
felt cold and hot
saw black and white
wrote a good world with indelible ink.
In the classroom in my pretty dress
I articulated single words
house, sand, dog, air
looked out the windows and thought
there’s more to it than this.
Now I do sums
assign numbers to everything
paint age-specific colors
shape skin from clay.
Again I am what I always was.
Jill Gabriel is a walker in the Hudson Valley and a catboat sailor on
Cape Cod. Her poetry has appeared in Space and Time magazine,
New Verse News, Time of Singing, and Inside Cape Cod magazine.
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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary
Volume 1, Number 2
Copyright © 2006
by Leah Browning, Editor.
All future rights to material
published in the Apple
Valley Review are retained
by the individual authors