fifth grader ducklings grew like dandelions in the courtyard, contagious as each year. their egg-selves still vibrating like dead moons. amoung them, we felt like prophets. fifth graders with ripe knees & knotted hair. they darted. hid inside our steepeld fingers. we took turns watching them. their mother, like any good blouse, screamed & screamed about the windows & the sun. nearby the saucony river turned fabric in the april laughter. i touched the torses of trees like the hems of skirts. i tried to read books & gave up, let them turn back into nestlings. mothers pushed children from branches. i fly briefly from the attic to the front yard & determined it would be best to stay yellowing as long as i could. duck bills brimmed over the foreheads of buildings. in gym class we ran laps around the school & i dreamed of the ducklings asleep like hot pockets. eventually they got too old to keep. their legs turned grey. their eyes sharpened. they argued with their mother & the janitors who tried in vain to teach them how to be children. in life some is always teaching someone else who is the child. in the rivers the ducks shed their duck faces & never looked back. daffodils squawked. the macadem spat rubber balls back at us. we played & checked behind our ears for down feather. at home, i checked my mother for webbed feet & hands. i took my age & held it until it turned smooth as river rock. the ducklings swelled large as obelisks. i could barely sleep they were so big. i got older though & the school dissolved. i found yellow in the strangest places. now, i want to be someone's child. i can be as soft as you want. i can tell you where the last feathers went.