—after Robert Louis Stevenson
When the sniper was about, we went on lockdown. Huddled in a classroom, attendance taken, shades pulled, black paper taped to the peephole. Cell phones silenced. For ten minutes or hours, we waited for all clear and pulled ourselves from where we’d been. Each time the landscape different: Some muffled cries, rustle of paper and attempts to call home, I shushed them down, covered disturbances with a raised finger, scattered sand. My closet open to costumes, crackers, sonnets for the long haul. In the half-dark, cross-legged on the floor, my skirt scrunched up under my thighs, eyes on any movement from the slot under the door in a room of fallen books, backpacks and gym clothes, I remembered I gave birth to daughters, up in the air and over the wall, till I can see so wide. Rides, and trees and cattle, countryside—a garden path. Up in the air I go flying again Up in the air and down Till the lights came on, the air so blue and the tethered, swung, let go.