The groundsman was already burning leaves.
Each working day, I was paid to lead
other people’s children through the labyrinth
of language – received, standard. (For some,
it was the wrong one – language or labyrinth.
They had their own minotaurs at home,
on the streets). And each day, I would drive back
to smiles and books and weathered bricks and luck.
Watching the smoke drift, I was surprised
to be still there, trying to unload
the dice from some sense of duty –
and something not a little like love.