From the Welcome Mat

A mother and son cram the threshold morning
with other children dressed for summer. Drone
of peak hour tails off four blocks away from
kindergarten, a world in miniature. There are
tremblers, gigglers, bolters and strutters. All

bar one make their way to available rectangles:
tables, books, puzzles, charts, paper on easels.
Movers get paintbrushes; shakers get jigsaws.
He stands on the welcome mat, not letting go
her hand. His foot scratches the back of his

other knee, one-legged stork unsure of delivery.
A car horn toots, he startles and turns behind.
Her grip tightens. She crouches down.
The teacher looks over but cannot hear what
the mother is saying. There is the slow nod

of a small head. 'Play' is pressed and music
begins. Sandals clack the shiny floorboards.
The teacher takes his other hand. He is a 'Y'
stretched between them. Past and future hanging
on the present. She who taught him first lets go.



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