Today we’re going to learn about “community”.

Can anybody tell me what

a community might be?

Is a family a community? Too small.

What about a county? Too big.

This neighborhood? Just right, like Goldilocks

in Mama Bear’s bed.

Shakya’s got it in her head that

community means a building, big,

tall like Sears Tower–she stretches skinny arms high

above her head–but Cypris

says no, it’s got to do with Obama and

what he did before they made him

President.  You know

he lived in a community on the South Side.

Anybody ever been there?

Aniyah used to live there, she says, with her mama

and sister’s daddy before they

had to go to the shelter.  From this

part of town, Hyde Park

seems like another state–like Michigan,

or Georgia, Indiana

the only states these second-graders can

put a name to.

What’s your community like?

They don’t answer, stumped for once; Shakya

squints her eyes.  She needs glasses.

It’s where you go, and you’re at home

where you know people

and nobody tell you to leave.