FROM all the jails the boys and girls
Beloved, only afternoon
That prison does n’t keep.
They storm the earth and stun the air,
A mob of solid bliss.
Alas! that frowns could lie in wait
For such a foe as this!
In my copy of Dickinson’s poems, this one is titled “Saturday Afternoon,” and I was meant to be writing it on Saturday afternoon, but, while the girls and boys have already ecstatically leapt from their jails, the teachers of said escaped inmates are still imprisoned by checklists and room cleanup and faculty meetings and report cards. So I give you this poem on a Sunday afternoon instead, as I prepare to go back to what my granddad liked to call “the knowledge mill” to finish up my remaining time so that I, too, may be free.