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Different

I remember the plastic box with a colorful plastic screen protecting my ham and cheese pieces, my crackers, and my Capri-Sun juice pouch. With friends surrounding the table and our backpacks nestling on the dusty floor. And now we slump in a classroom with plastic walls between each desk. The room is so still that we’re afraid to talk. So there’s no more recess, where we played tag and dirtied our jeans when we fell, or trading my brownie for my friend’s chips. There is no more watching our peers mix ketchup and chocolate milk and triple-dog-daring a classmate to drink it through a red straw. Now, It’s different. There are no more crowds of friends or whispering to the person on my right, or smiling. We read each other’s eyes. We all knew it would be different, one day, years away from sitting at that long, brown table in third grade, But not different like this, Not the way we all live now.

Different

I remember
the plastic box
with a colorful plastic screen
protecting my ham and cheese pieces,
my crackers,
and my Capri-Sun juice pouch.