They all fall down

    Graphic by Savannah Christensen

    In the fifth grade we played

    Ring Around the Rosie

    My friends and I would hold hands in a circle

    And pull each other’s arms

    As we spun around

    Until we couldn’t hold on any longer

    Ashes, Ashes

    We’d yell and laugh

    Ignorant of the fact

    That the nursery rhyme was about a plague

    Our voices sang a song of death

    As we spun around

    Until we couldn't hold on any longer

    A decade later

    We are at different colleges

    More than an arm’s length away

    So we can’t hold hands

    Or sing a song in unison

    Instead I send my friends an occasional text

    To remind them I’m still holding on

    Now our school is rotting

    The bricks are fading out

    A mold has spread between the walls

    A virus attacking from within

    While the school holds its ground

    Waiting for the end

    Pockets full of posies

    In a month, the school will be torn down

    Before I can return to it

    And the kids that have replaced me

    Will sing a song of ashes

    Spinning in a circle

    Until they can't hold on any longer

    As all the bricks fall down.


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