Scissors, Paper

It started with angels:
a chain gang, joined
at the wings.
Or children holding hands,
their blank faces
& androgynous bodies
ready for the magic
of markers. Seven
to eight, it seems,
was the Age of Paper.
In the lunchroom,
older boys passed on
the lore of cootie catchers
& diamond-shaped
footballs folded
from a notebook page.
Back in class,
we made snowflakes
& taped them to the high
classroom windows,
bait for the gods of snow
& early dismissal.
In December, we draped
the blackboard & doorway
with Christmas chains,
red linked with green
linked with red,
& come February, learned
the simplest cut of all:
the craft-paper heart.
This time, though green
might’ve seemed more apt,
only red would do.
The teacher showed us
how to turn them into cards
with the addition of
a recipient’s name
on the outside
& some simple message
hidden in the fold, making
a virtue of the necessary,
indelible crease.

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