Cold, bitter pre-dawn darkness,
A biting wind over thin snow,
Hard shoes and a heavy bag,
To school through blackness.
The teeming streets of noon a dream,
The darkness a playground for predators,
I quicken my pace passing faceless forms,
Wicked eyes reflecting flames.
My bag, fat with untouched homework,
To be done frantically by dawn’s first light,
Weighing heavy on my fluttering chest and conscience,
A swollen insect, its poison anxiety, crushing my breath.
Dark, twisty paths lead through orchards’ courtyards,
To a street wide and grey in the pre-dawn light,
The school’s light a beacon through the biting darkness,
I fly above the final stretch of street, the wind in my ears.