NICHOLAS ALLEN HARP took an MFA from Michigan, and has poems forthcoming or
published in Spoon River Poetry Review, Missouri Review, Can We Have Our
Ball Back?, and Prairie Schooner.

Past thirsty geraniums
(the color of dawn)
of the third-grade windowsill
a verdant afternoon world of
swordplay and dentists
seemed to wait, ex vitro, for us to fill it.

And how slow time seemed!
I gated my face behind hands,
tuned out the material explanation of
why apple blossoms blossomed,
and strained my mind only to make
the clock's vertebrae
creep more quickly.

How many of us on that same afternoon,
across the rolling growings of the
eastern time zone, from piedmont
to peninsula, gaped at time,
simultaneously, from 2:30 to 3?

Were we caught together,
years before we'd even meet,
in the temporal mirth of dappled sunlight,
a time that was at once our own?
Were you summoning June with me?

Tonight, years later,
I will allow myself to think
our collective gaze, our impassioned
yearning to swing through the minutes
brought the sun richly to us,
brought the breeze softer when
the final bell rang, when we leapt
from the syrupy lacquered floor to earth,
our feet tapping atop the grainy
bone of sidewalk, the waxed green blood
of grass, our faces ripened pink
in flushed praise of all the steps to follow.

Nicholas Allen Harp