local_library Naptime in the Kindergarten Room

by Ann Bracken

Published in Issue No. 210 ~ November, 2014

Heat, intense as the fragrance of September hibiscus, fills the kindergarten classroom in the new brick school. Alphabet carpet tiles cover the floor.

Child-sized mats stacked like lonely rafts in the back of the room. A boy

rolls a blue marble from palm to palm. The curve of a smile paints his face

when our eyes exchange hello. The lights in the room are cut off, a pedestal

fan sweeps the room haltingly. The air still, flat, heavy. The children take reluctant naps, their damp faces resting on folded arms atop small round tables. What is the logic of kindergarten children napping at tables? Their teacher, Miss Kimberly, sees the question forming on my face, pulls up a chair for me at her desk.

This school was built over a landfill. There are roaches everywhere. I’ve even seen them crawling out of the kids’ lunchboxes. I have a mat for each child, but I’d never let them sleep on this floor. Miss Kimberly checks her watch. She knows I’m there to pick up several children for the speech class. Lucky you—with an office out in the trailer.

I don’t think we have any roaches out there.



account_box More About

Ann Bracken is a writer, poet, educator, and expressive arts consultant whose poetry, essays, and interviews have appeared in the Little Patuxent Review, Life in Me Like Grass on Fire:Love Poems, Scribble, New Verse News, Praxilla, The Museletter, and The Gunpowder Review, Reckless Writing Anthology: Emerging Poets of the 21st and Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence. Ann’s poem, “Mrs. S,” was nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize. Her first collection of poems, The Altar of Innocence, a memoir in verse, will be published in 2015 by New Academia Publishing of Washington, DC. Ann serves as a contributing editor for Little Patuxent Review and leads workshops at creativity conferences, including Florida Creativity, Mindcamp of Toronto, and the Creative Problem Solving Institute. Her company, The Possibility Project, offers expressive arts and creativity workshops for women of all ages. Ann is a lecturer in the Professional Writing Program at the University of Maryland. website: www.possibilityproject.com