between games of dodge ball
acts of Julius Caesar
and choruses of Tom Dooley,
we learned life’s first lessons
along the Sioux Trail

you were my first friends
first heroes —
first bullies
first loves —
first heartaches

first community of life’s teachers

single file we followed each other
trusting the massive hallways
leading to the stark playground
where on cold days
we shivered together
and later thawed
each other out
our bodies jammed
in crowded stairwells

how blessed
how gracious
to stand beside you today
you who have travelled
the same early road

I remember you when
and celebrate you now

young souls
holding hands
into adulthood
along the Sioux Trail

© 1997 Julie Stevens

About the Author Julie Ann Stevens

My art flows from the patterns & paths of my lived experience which ⏤ like yours ⏤ are at once deeply personal and entirely universal.

4 comments

  1. I still have my copy of your excellent poem, and remember when it was delivered to Mr. Bedard. You speak for me, and likely many others from our years in North River Hills. Best, always!

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