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Our Small Town

plastic wheels rumble across

cracks splitting sun-beaten sidewalks

cornfields fade behind like mirages, opening

the vista of red-brick buildings

in the heart of town

i’m eleven, Emily’s twelve

we jingle mismatched allowance change

and crushed baby-sitting dollars, shoved

into our jean shorts pockets for

an afternoon of opportunity

start with comics at Around the Corner Books

scented stickers at the Variety Store

Ahoy Fountain Cokes with every syrup flavor

finish with foosball at Sun’s Arcade

our worlds stretching with possibilities

as our rollerblades rocket us into

more places without parents, still

no doubts we’ll return home

in a small town that watches its neighbors —

finding preteen Freedom.

DVWG Guest Poet Erin Schalk

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