During the slow passing autumns,
we progressed from foraging
apples to mushrooms, our heads
seeking the deeper thrills promised
by our elder leaders.

There in the loft, where we took salvage,
with cider and cans welded to our
untrained hands like extended limbs,
the TV crackles and sparks, leaving
no room for interference.

Then the next day, the powers that be
sift through our hand-forged letters,
our excuses as weak as our attempts
at our handwritten ruse; three weeks
of rewriting our sins fifty times over.

Through the windows after each class
the glass seemed that little wider,
and the trees seemed to age with
each session, their branches like
broken fingers brushing me past.

Their leaves falling at a steady pace,
but still without chance of flight,
and despite those promises made by
our elders, our minds still remained
as stable as ever.

Jonathan Butcher has had poetry appear in various print and online publications, including: Popshot Magazine, Elbow Room, Belleville Park Pages, Electric Windmill, Dead Beats, and others. His second chapbook Broken Slates has been published by Flutter Press.

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