Ode to 3rd Block

By: Alison Gittelman


Otherwise known as


You lay out your picnics like an elegant buffet.

Giant bags of snacks reveal a hunger that cannot be satiated by

A nibble.

This is the devour hour.


The crunching


Pauses long enough for me to begin.

Then stop, as a chip bag is opened.


The noise rises, an approaching train

That cannot be stopped

I stand on the tracks.

We begin



And, like the calm after the storm

You listen and discuss and think and


I am a wave

You are surfers

Dipping and diving

Holding on

For the crash.

Then you pick up your boards and surf the next one.


When it’s over

And the sea is calm

And the train has left

I straighten the desks

And I know that, next year

I will be a surferless wave.

And I will stand on the tracks


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