“Like Salmon Before*” Tanka 1043

(April 25, 2018)


like salmon before

a spillway the privileged line up

the school-morn raceway


other cars imitate bears

swatting paws at the young fish


  • (Each schoolday morn, cars, SUV’s pickups and a motorcycle upon occasion clog one side of my street as “precious cargo” unloads, deplanes and debarks in a rush to attend this magnet middle school of science, technology, engineering – what? where’d The Math go?  Oh, yeah, it’s hiding  just past the engineers – with vehicles from all over the county vying to be first to drop their loads of minds full of April mush as the young “fry” must accomplish the passage of a two-lane street to the “safety” of a sidewalk more often than not also half-parked upon by other cares facing a differently directed “spillway” discharging yet more students from scofflaw parents who perceive not the need to keep free the walkways for pedestrians.  School busses roar along the road, escaping the students just off-dropped and the privileged parental providers who tend only their own flock and be dammed any who way-get or whose yards offer not a willing respite from The Rules of The Road. The kids – some of whom are eighth-grade sibs of younger and still-in-near-May smaller and less acumened brothers or sisters must brave the rushing torrents from several directions.  One might hazard a guess the getting to the school is part of the winnowing process, neh?)
  • * (To Hell with the fact the school is a walking advertisement: No School Safety Here! Outside and possibly Inside: with doorways leading straight to the sidewalks facing streets ripe for runaway pickups packed with explosives, or any other nightmare scenario one might imagine – and with but one euphemized School Resource Officer (City Cop) to handle the traffic not to mention on-call for other local response needs – yep: first priority is emergency calls and backup conditions, not school safety – and you have at Sanford Middle School – whose students by the way will compete for a national championship in Washington, D. C. soon in an academic endeavor of merit I am sure, in a county whose school district board has yet to announce its facilities are “hardened.”  Maybe just the heads of parents, teachers, political bosses and administrators at all levels got The Hardening instead.)


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