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First Grade

The day they delivered the new slide, we were not allowed outside.

Next day we rushed the door to explore that tall thing we found

In our place of play. It hovered over us like that Water Tower on seventh

Street casting crisscross patterns on the ground we danced around and around.

One day Billy Ray, the budding class bully, rushed the tower at Mach speed

And at the top plopped himself on the slide for the inaugural ride!

That feat fueled Billy’s aggression as he ratcheted up control of play.

To feed his outsize appetite for sweets he shook down kids for their lunch treats.

While the teachers put his behavior down to a passing phase, his anger grew with his

Girth and one night, a few years later, he flung himself from the water tower and

fell to the earth that he was so desperate to leave.

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Wow...a dramatic transition from what promised to be a happy time to a tragic ending. Guess life is rarely linear.

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