IN A HALF HOUR HER SCHOOL BUS WILL ARRIVE
Even in winter when she stamps snow
from her boots and unhoods herself
from her puffy parka,
she brings spring.
When she plunks her weighty backpack
in the foyer, she is as burdenless as summer.
Her hair holds the russet and gold
of unfallen leaves.
Her Hi rings out like a piccolo,
but cross her, and her voice is
the boom ba boom of a kettledrum.
Her long, well-arched feet splay in pliés.
En pointe, she rises
like a preteen Venus
from the ripple-shell pattern
of my linoleum.
The very air awaits her.
Rochelle Shapiro’s novel, Miriam the Medium (Simon & Schuster, 2004), was nominated for the Harold U. Ribelow Award. She has published essays in NYT (Lives) and Newsweek. Her poetry, short stories, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in many literary magazines such as A Thin Slice of Anxiety.