- They Ran and Flew from You
They Ran and Flew from YouYour days are ordinary to and from school along the park esplanade.The children alert as birds and as flitting and as chirping. The sunlightthrough the Ficus and jacaranda canopy. The children run and flyfrom you to perch on the rainbow half shell egg seats. Children alightabove your head onto the mama bird's yellow-ringed neck. A yellowclump of wildflowers they pull from the ground and suck the stems.They warn you not to eat the petals, which are poisonous. Into the redbirdhouse, children chatter and cor-cori-coo in echoing loops andin the echo's end, they call out again. You watch them kaleidoscopelike butterflies. They flap and fight over the lavender and spring yellowand peach winged seats. You watch the clambering onto the royal bluemusical instruments emerging from the ground; curling into the bodyof sound, into the shape of tuba and trombone bells. The children take offtheir socks and shoes to scale a snail's hump. The reward is a treedangling its baubles of pitanga cherries—and adjacent a fence's vines [End Page 160] laden with passion fruit—children rip open the top with their teeth andslurp out the seeds and neon juice. You watch the children assemble a rowbefore the national flags and the banners sketched with national songs.You listen as the children pitch their voices in unison. [End Page 161]
chanda feldman is the author of Approaching the Fields. Recent poems appear in The Arkansas International, Crazyhorse, and Poetry. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at Oberlin College.