The Seat Next to Mine: A Poem

When I was 5 years old,
I walked into a classroom
Full of golden light and
giggling children.
I sat down on a rug that
spanned the alphabet.
Criss-cross-applesauce
on the letter “A”.

I watched you enter the room,
and plop your pink backpack
down in your cubby.
You stood uncertainly
like you wanted to sit
I hesitated….
Then I patted”B”.

For a year we sat together.
We made crowns of dandelions,
and tasted buttercups
at recess together.
Promising each other it
tasted like popcorn even
though we knew it didn’t.

I scowled at you when you
wouldn’t give me
the pink balloon
I really, really wanted
even though it was my birthday.
But when 7 year old Bryan,
grabbed it from you,
I yelled at him
“Give it back!”
because it was yours.

You left a couple weeks after
your dad got a new job.
I didn’t have your number,
your e-mail, your address
or even your last name.

I went on with my life.
I learned that buttercups
had nothing to with the food
and that dandelions were weeds.
I decided purple was a
much nicer color than pink.

12 years later, I walked into a room
filled with musty books
and the smell of coffee.
I look around the room
for a familiar face
and my gaze snags on yours.

I hesitate because I’m
not sure you are you.
But you pat the desk
in the spot next to yours.
And I sit next to you
One more time.

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