Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 14
Spring 2016

Recess Games

by Marta Balcewicz

N is for nuns 
who nap at noon
every day, 
O is for our father
who art in heaven,
a prayer.
P is for playground 
where we go 
when sisters sleep 
and Q is
for queen, 
that’s Queen of heaven,
the Mother.

R is for restless 
we are restless 
in the heat, 
the nuns lock the school ground 
gates when they sleep.
S is for soccer, 
which the boys play 
for a while—
till they tire
that’s for T 
and join the girls 
under a tree.

U is for our uniforms 
that turn yellow 
in the dust 
and V 
for Victoria, 
who is pretty 
but is wild—
“Stop the game!” Victoria yells
“Pervert on the loose.”
No one fact-checks 
dolls cast off
the ball rolls quietly away
as we race 
to grip the bars 
of the fence and watch
the cars and hurried adults
pass by 	
hoping he will come.


SHJ Issue 14
Spring 2016

Marta Balcewicz

is from Toronto. She grew up in Szczecin and Madrid.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury