Public School 168

is
abandoned
like some remnant
of time-soaked simplicity.

a childless carriage
on the east side of harlem.

a smile dances
when i envision
small hands
pledging allegiance
to manifest destinies
in which they were not included.

from a rooftop you hover
like a gothic ghost
above st. lucy's church
where black robed nuns
carried rulers & bars of soap
like guns strapped to their waists
speaking in tones
of catechism & guilt.

do you remember the eyes of the children?
lunch room smells?
the song of forgotten games?

"red light   green light   one   two   three"

i stand now
before your shattered broken face
kindergarten laughs
echo the schoolyard
& i remember palms of hands
& eyes of children.

before we embraced the city
before we met the man who ate glass
& asked about our dreams.

by Stewart Brisby

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