Two cornered neighbors –
mittened hand and magazine seat –
half punishment and half relief
turn their backs to the teacher,
glower and fret, miss
colors and the alphabet.
One can read. The other studies only
how to carry his clothes,
unnoticed, in a plastic bag,
return in them tomorrow.
Furloughed for lunch, the glowerer,
alone with his free meal, spies
his fretful neighbor searching
a Pac-Man lunch box
for her daily bribe,
a Bullwinkle sticker cut from a sheet.