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Dispatched

Each school day, when the day ends, twenty or thirty folks gather outside the back gate. I come to the playground, open the gate and parents step onto the yard to pick up their children.  They mingle and chat. Friendly almost always. Connections and reunions abound. One Friday, however, I got a call on the […]

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Gift

Saturday afternoon, I went into school to catch up on paperwork. Always quiet on a weekend, I thought. Then, around sunset, I heard a tremendous racket from up the hill. Multiple male voices shouting. What the heck? I padded down the main stairs toward the back of the building. As I got to the big […]

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Free

A narrow path runs through the garden patch along the playground’s west side. There, at the point where asphalt ends, I encountered Daphne. She came from behind and shouted “Hey!” snapping me upright. I turned to see a small-boned seven year-old, with a delicate face and gentle eyes looking into mine. She lifted a tiny plastic container close to my […]

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Tethered

Late yesterday, I stood on the empty playground at the foot of the tetherball pole, talking to myself about cutting the pole down. “That’s it!” I said. In my right hand, I held a hacksaw. The job I had in mind would require about five minutes. Even before yesterday, however, I had closed book on tetherball. […]

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Before

When I first visited the school on the hill, summer heat baked the dead grass covering much of the open space there. A windowed and white concrete block —the school building — shoved itself into the hillside as a misfit among the rocks, broken glass, discarded sofas, and random car parts. In my work shoes […]

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