Echo

Off you g

Click Clack Click
Mrs. Whalen’s heels
echo 
down the long dark corridor
of my mind
 
she is holding my hand
too tight 
walking too fast
as I slip and slide
beside her
 
earlier, I stood at the end 
of our driveway
nametag pinned on
light green pinafore
sunlight bouncing off ivory buttons
 
my mom pacing 
watching for the bus 
that never came
air draining slowly from 
kindergarten’s first day 
 
long shiny car pulls up
blinding yellow like the sun
nosey neighbor, Mrs. Whalen 
leans out, nails tap-tap on hot waxed metal
rescue words exchanged
 
Don’t worry
I’ll take her
Hurry up
Get in
Wave goodbye

mom frantically waving
two toddlers by her side
as noisy car speeds off
disappearing in a 
dizzying blur
 
my heart is racing
forward lurch and lunge
screeching to a stop
rush rush rush 
through schoolhouse doors
 
Mrs. Whalen’s heels 
echo-roar while I hang on
slip sliding down tile
buffed to a shine
in ink black leather Mary Jane’s
 
rap rap rap 
on heavy door
 
tap tap tap  
her toes count time
 
Sister Bernadette
with her scowl of welcome
lets the door swing wide
rosary and wimple mocking
holy words exchanged
 
Neighbor child
Very late
I don’t know 
Take a seat
Now off you go
 
Mrs. Whalen lets go my hand
shadows fall 'cross silent rows 
quick retreat now echoes soundly
click clack click 
down empty hall
 

About katemccarrollmoore

Kate Moore’s passion is literacy, and she serves as a mentor teacher and staff developer throughout the greater Bay Area. Kate served three terms as the City of San Ramon's Poet Laureate (2012-2018); she also teaches poetry writing workshops and is an instructor in the Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership (MATL) program at St. Mary’s College of California. She was honored as SRVUSD Teacher of the Year in 2007 and San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year in 2009. Kate holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from California State University, East Bay, an M.A. in Teacher Leadership from St. Mary’s and a B.A. in English Education from SUNY Albany. She and Bob Moore are the proud parents of four beautiful grown daughters, and the smitten grandparents of four beautiful children who fill them with hope for the future.
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