Carnival Games (a poem)

It’s 6:48 am and I am walking onto a bus
We are no longer able to be alone
The government has deemed we must stay together

This is my first day on the bus – I thought I would be on it longer
My start time is at 11:42 am

As I am ushered off the bus after twenty-five minutes
I am given directions on my phone and told to stay with the group
I must plan my escape, I must be alone

The directions take us through neighborhoods, walking for four hours
I stay to the back, and finally make a different turn
Alone and isolated, I can make my own choice

My directions recalculate and I’m told it’ll take me seven years
I turn back with my heart full of despair
My group is gone, I’m still alone, but walking the same path

The sky is dark, the streets are dirty
This is what our life looks like after the biochemical war
Creepy sales men try to get me to play their carnival games

The walk is four hours to reach my location
All of this to attend school now, to be places in a room with hundreds more
Life is a gamble, we do not know who that is left is still infected

(Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash)

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