A new scholar braves the storm
To make his mark.
Well-clad as a totemic frog,
Lunch box shining, shield-like
Ready for action.
‘Brella raised as sword would be.

Well, mostly so.
Well, even more.
His speedy feet shod into
Perfect, unblemished sneakers.

What a mind in a brain
That sits beneath that copper-colored thatch.
As if each strand electrifies
the next,
and the next
Emblazing the world,
Calling out,
“Do your best, my fine fellows.
Do your best young women of all humankind.
Do your best, mighty angels of thought.
Conquer all evils, I’ll aid and abet.
Not too difficult if you trod on with me.”

Philosophy, metaphysics
Even thought-numbing science and math
Easy if you, Thomas,
And your totem move forward together
In crested creativity, inspired by evolving art.

Ask for help? No need.
Arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music
All eagerly poised in your back pocket
Wait to spring into action
Into being.

A raindrop here
A flash of light there
An extra thump of heart,
Then more resolve to meet
This day, it’s challenge.

No delay.
Nourished, nuts and jam.
Nurtured, kisses, hugs.
Surrounded, assured that this is only one,
The first of all the best steps.

Taken, explored, examined,
Filed away, successful.

The scholar, unafraid,
Well, mostly so.
Meets the challenge
Well, mostly with half-smiles.
with the promise
Of his first day of school.

Charlene James-Duguid
Amissville, Virginia
September 4, 2019