Numbers

numbers

Down the creaky, wooden steps
Thirteen seconds long
Around the corner at the end of the hall
Through the doorway
Eight feet tall

Trod along the dusty sidewalk
Five song long
Across the street at the light
Under the lamppost
Twenty feet’s height

Pass the noisy, crowded market
Billboards fifty feet long
After the woman selling fake gold
Around the street urchin
Six years old

Stand in a line along the wall
Nineteen persons long
Pass the guard and through the gate
Arrive at school
Just three minutes late!

I remember walking to elementary school every morning when I lived in the Philippines.  For me, it seems like it was a very long walk.  I lived in the city and so I passed by many things along the way.  I don’t think I ever disliked it walking to school.  My mom took me, of course.  But in reality, the walk was probably no that far.

While some of the things I mentioned in this poem are made up, others, such as street urchins, the markets, billboards, and streetlights were real.  There was even an overpass, kids inhaling drugs, jaywalkers, people washing their clothes and dishes on the sidewalks, and other goings-on that you’d only see in the Philippines.

No matter how long, short, busy, dangerous, or tiresome it might have been, though, I always have good feelings when I remember those days – walking to and from school, every day…