Lime Ave

In front of the darkening school
I ran behind his bicycle,
one hand holding on,
and the building was a ship
that carried him out
to sea in the morning
and brought him back later,
pale and weak-kneed.
The flagpole was a mast
swaying in the sky,
and waves of shadows lapped
against the stone steps
as he fought to stay afloat,
the sidewalk lifting and falling,
the building rushing forward
and pulling back
on the gray swells of our poverty.
I let go
and he pedaled on,
the clouds above him streaked with red
and the sun extinguishing
in each empty window
as his small body sailed past.

Published in Rip Rap, Stirring