- Vol. 08
- Chapter 06
Queen of the Monkey Bars, I sit,
legs dangling over a metal bar,
light beams bouncing off patent-leather shoes
across the schoolyard to blind my rivals.
I am pure balance, as home here,
above the playground, as the blue jay
who mocks me from the chestnut tree
as I walk the six blocks to third grade.
Caught by the wind, my skirt balloons
like a parachute. Blue- and red-striped
polyester lashes at my face, bares thighs
and flashes my pink Tuesday panties.
Ignited by grade-school laughter,
my skin bursts into flames.
I fumble for my hem and lose
my grip on the cold, hard steel.
I fall, like Icarus, to the gravel below.
A new King of the Jungle gym
grins down at me and bellows
a Tarzan-like challenge to one and all.