1987 Schoolyard

through the wire mesh at night

the schoolyard domed in yellow light


smooth and empty no-man's-land

like the inside of a peach can


the old block left to lurch

shut up tighter than a church


through darkened eyes we hardly see

inside the flags and maps of country


once as children, fond of yarns

father's land and mother's arms


we learned our lessons, by the book

of chinks in armor, gobbledygook


till the bell rang, and we heard her

each one screaming bloody murder


free for all, we came to blows

over hopskotch and dominoes


now that concrete slab

packed over worms and blab


dirty words unseeming

childish poems without meaning


engraved with names of love and war

is still, but will crack once more