Office Hours

I set up my desk – bright pen, sticky notes,
a handful of shiny queries like doorknobs that turn
into new rooms – a furrow folding my brow
at the thought of all the tender shoots furring
the redbuds outside and one last hard frost
forecast for later in the week. They come to me
with their drafts, their backpacks overflowing
with notes, they come to me with their cheeks
red and creased from the blanket they just left,
sleep still congealed in the corners of their eyes,
they come to me unfurling books they’ve discovered
accidentally while looking for something else entirely,
they come to me worried about why the Epi-Pen
is so expensive these days, and whether we will ever
get back to the moon, and whether wealth really does
cascade like champagne poured into the top glass
of a stacked pyramid. I spread my upturned hands
and widen my eyes like theirs because I can’t help it,
because I can’t answer. I urge them past bud-break
towards blooming, my own fruitfulness sinking
into sweet rotting. I watch them from my perch
in the crotch of a nearby tree, tweet my entreaties
as they build their nests with found things: twigs
and twine and rags, sequins and barbed wire and string.

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