Free Verse

Growing Up Florida

The heat gently suffocates
Early in the morning
And I roll out of bed and feel my clothes
Already sticking to my skin

Mom calls me to the bathroom
When the clock strikes seven am
When it’s time for a quick bath
And the bus is rumbling, nearing

The pigeons coo, perched in high branches
Squeaky roller coasters stretch their bones, waking
And I meander towards my friends
Already clustering around the bus stop

School calls me to the classroom
When the clock strikes eight am
When it’s time to follow rules
And a hot breakfast waits to be eaten

The day unfolds slowly: long, languid and listless
Our class turtle swims towards me
And I push the pencil eraser on the glass
Already laughing before it snaps at the refraction

Teacher calls me to answer her questions
When the clock strikes nine am
When it’s time to prove my worth
And show that I know something important

The break is a wild cacophony
We run around in messy circles
And I climb like a savage monkey on anything 
Already sweating with the feral horde

Teachers call me to halt everything
When the clock strikes one pm
When it’s time to resume required learning
And sit at wooden desks

The bus ride home is hot and loud
As we get closer and closer to freedom
And I long for games, just on the horizon
Already finishing homework in my head

TV calls me to the living room
When the clock strikes three pm
When it’s time for a sugary snack
And my favorite cartoons

The playground is everywhere
We climb trees and build castles and throw
And I race my friends until it’s dark out
Already draining everything that’s left

Mom calls me to come in for dinner
When the clock strikes eight pm
When the sky is orangey-blue and black
And the mosquitos start to bite

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