a thrown stone from the local school,
we live, term-time
to the tune of its filling and emptying
and petit quart d’heures of play
like hole-punched paper.
dominating the rest
is the strident snap of the school-mistress
no whistle needed.
they fall in line and obedient, save for
one small résistante.
parents’ coaxing unheeded,
her cries rise,
loud and indignant
through our open September windows.
there is always one, I say out loud,
of the system.