After School Care – Poem
Time moves slow, sticking to the moment like molasses- is this how it normally is?
The hard plastic of the black folding chair cushioned under an instructor’s thigh. His minute hand snakes through stiff uniforms we’ve been taught to fold and tie in unison. I’m alone in the back room full of peers I’ve known for years.
The tube tv blares out an action scene and handheld consoles chirp victory before being passed off to the next kid in line. Somehow, I am separate, removed from the group of my brother and his friends playing feet away.
I stare off into the white face ringed with bold black numbers, trying to phase out until the hour is called. He’s fingering my strings to illicit responses.
I want to go to the bathroom. Instead I focus on the bright screen illuminating some hero’s movements. I don’t fully comprehend the stimuli bombarding me- is this supposed to happen?
And when the clock finally chimes my freedom and the class starts pulling away to begin, he samples the syrup and reminds me I am alone.