The Red Brick Sky
The seventh and eighth grade boys
were there already, the front wheels
of their bikes in place between
the old racks' wooden slats.
For thirty minutes, before the buses
circled and the first bell rang, a gray ball
arced above our sixth-grade heads, each
throw a pock mark on a red brick wall.
May through June we watched that wall
expanding and contracting with the sun
and rain—catch and throw the only rule.
We knew next year’s red wall would be ours.
But summer built a gym against
the red brick wall, a gym with hard wood
floors and baskets and a stage.
Inside, we marched in single
file and ran between the lines. The walls
were padded and whistles blew.