Hear me, O Keepers of the #2 pencil.
As you roar into view, earth trembling beneath bright-yellow wheels.
I am still not ready: I cannot deliver her up to the yawning mouth of your folding, screeching door…
Listen, O you Gods of the 2nd Grade:
Let her backpack be light. As she trembles onto the bus, let a seat be open near the front, in case she has a problem.
Let her bus driver be like the one on Forrest Gump.
As she sits, in her prim uniform, socks askew, send her someone who will adore her and make her a BFF.
Not the girl in the Justin Bieber t-shirt.
As she struggles through fractions, writhes through cursive: may her teacher breathe an extra breath. And lower herself down, knees protesting, to calm the storm of frustration.
If she decides to make friends with only the blond girls that populate her class, let her also not forget that she’s a black sheep, and that there are other black sheep, too.
Carry her lightly through social studies, that she may learn a love for democracy.
Enlighten her with Math Facts, that she may have a lucrative future career away from the arts. Unless she’s really amazing at art: then, Lord, talent her up.
Give her immunity at the water fountain, speed at dodgeball, and modesty while swinging from the monkey bars.
Let her not be the last one picked.
If she’s the last one picked, O Gods, let her remember that it will not always be so: and that the last shall be first.
May she always be the unabashed holder of the hard-boiled egg at lunch, and live in total ignorance of boys.
Bring her back safe in your cavernous transport; let the bus driver be forever sober and cholesterol-free, and may all crazies decide to stay home each day from 7-8am and 3-4pm.
Now and forever, or at least until May-
Amen and amen.