Morning is tired and sagging,
waiting for noon.
In fifteen minutes, it will rest
In fifteen minutes, a fresh batch of faces
will stir in the school’s cafeteria
where the aroma of pepperoni pizza
seeps in the skin.
I watch children enter in a crooked line,
dragging hunger with them.
Emma watches, too.
Her six-year old smile is a beacon
of delight and pale blue eyes are like a telescope
focused in the distance.
Miss Walker, you know that boy Keatyn in fourth grade?
He’s my future boyfriend.
Words cannot swim their way out through the stream
of laughter flowing in my stomach.
I cast my gaze like a net in the direction
of her intended catch.
His nine year old face is kind,
riddled with early signs of handsomeness,
clueless hands stained with pizza sauce.
He eats his lunch with the vigor of a warrior,
but he is prey, caught in the trap
of a huntress who can barely tie her shoes.
This poem also appears in Loretta Diane Walker’s book Word Ghetto published by Bluelight Press.
About the Poet:
Loretta Diane Walker won the 2016 Phyllis Wheatley Book Award for poetry, for her collection, In This House. She is a five time Pushcart nominee. She has published three collections of poetry. Her manuscript Word Ghetto won the 2011 Bluelight Press Book Award. She teaches music in Odessa, Texas. Loretta received a BME from Texas Tech University and earned a MA from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin.
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