Last Day

Overhead, trees blossom,
heavy with humidity
each verdant leaf interlocked
into a natural pavilion.

My son escapes from school–
“I’m free!” he cries
and a buddy chimes in

together they fall to the ground,
roll in the dirt
grey polyester uniform
pants ruined

backpacks empty,
discarded, torn
at the seams
the wheels lost

after the boys pretended
to ride them as though
performing at the rodeo.

Liberated children avoid
the strangle from Moms
tugging at white
button-down collars.

“Thank God for summer camp,”
echoes in the parking-lot
spoken aloud, in earnest.

Soon the school’s halls
will be crypt-quiet,

But for now, spiral notebooks tossed
into metal garbage bins;
the math teacher we nicknamed
Cerebus hovers at the exit door,
lips pursed, standing guard against

the shouts of adolescent laughter,
and the familiar music
of the Lickety Split
ice cream truck.

It all converges

into the mixed-media
collage depicting
summer vacation.

Bijou (c)