The heat and the boredom are old news,
And they are contagious.
Motion and thought have slowed,
And the torpor is a living thing.
It holds us all.
Then, a cool breeze blows in from the west.
It brings gray skies and a shower,
And a promise of relief.
But the reprieve is short, and the hot sun returns.
But the spell is broken.
We don flip-flops,
And we carry a list.
We brave melting sidewalks
And crowded stores filled with overflowing shopping carts
Pushed by parents with lists of their own.
Cranky babies cry, and toddlers beg for candy,
Older children want the backpack that is not on sale.
Harried cashiers apologize for the slow computer and scan barcodes.
Debit cards wear out in dirty readers,
And parents count pennies ‘til payday.
Kids waffle between excitement and melancholy.
Old friends, new teachers and hard work.
No more sleeping in or unsupervised computer games,
Just lectures and homework.
But at least there’s recess.
And as I relive this time through their eyes,
I reminisce about my own time in school,
And about what I wouldn’t give
To have the potential of a new beginning
For just one more August.
— Ron Brooks