Minding the Gap
We went to the same private schools, each year the cost of college,
yet sharing a classroom isn’t the same as sharing a class, stepping
off mass transit and walking half a block to the door not the same
as parking a sweet sixteen cherry red convertible, smashing it and
driving the identical one a day later, the burp of Tupperware not
the polite cough of a personal assistant sent to deliver the sushi you
ordered, the four day vacations at grandma’s beach house we thought
so spiffy not quite surfing in Rica or hanging in Biarritz, our brand
name clothing lifted from the school lost and found. And then, when
the universities that accepted us covered “all but” thirty-thousand
a year, doors that opened for you slammed for us, the bottom line
being we can share a page in your yearbook, but we won’t work
together, won’t live in similar houses, won’t summer on the same
shore, won’t wear the same brands, eat the same food, drop the same
names. What we studied wasn’t as important as what we knew
without being taught—that who we will become was decided before
we ever opened a book. From our first wail, some of us were given
more space and cleaner air, flew more miles, left a bigger footprint.
Some of us would stumble, but never be allowed to hit the ground.
This is what I learned at our alma mater. This is what I still know.
By Devon Balwit
Devon Balwit is a poet, parent, and educator from Portland, Oregon. Her poetry has found many homes, among them: 13 Myna Birds, drylandlit, Dying Dahlia Review, Emerge Literary Journal, MAW, Rat’s Ass Review, Rattle, The Basil O’Flaherty, The Fem, The NewVerse News, Vanilla Sex Magazine, and Wicked Banshee Press.