I consider whether or not it’s foolish to try haunting old places.
It’s not my school anymore after all.
It belongs to other children now.
This might as well be a temple in ruins, with nothing but ghosts on the playground.
(I watch two ants battle among the blades of grass.)
I wonder if the tree we planted in third grade is still okay
and why they ripped up the black-eyed susans in the butterfly garden.
I wonder if fifth graders still look like grown ups when you’re five and staring up
and if wood chips still get stuck in your knees when you fall off the monkey bars.
(The smaller ant jumps on the bigger one.)
I close one eye to focus on a single flower in front of me
And I make the background go foggy.
Open the other eye and the world comes into focus.
Far away a child, or maybe a ghost, laughs going down the slide.
I wonder if he’s ever seen the butterfly garden when there were black-eyed susans,
or if he’s scared of big kids or maybe he thinks he’s a big kid,
and I marvel at the power of perspective.
(The big ant carries the little one away in its jaws.)