If You Watch

While picking up the bigs from school today,
 a girl crossed in front of my car and dropped her binder, which exploded in the middle of the street.
 An errant wind skirled by and snatched at the contents of her binder, 
whirling them aloft into a giant paper-mosaic tornado. 

Finally they came down, papering the street for half a block
 in an explosion of playfully skittering pages going in every direction.

Dozens of preadolescents were walking past, inscrutable in their reticence.

Suddenly they came to life and began scrambling after the mischievous papers, laughing and cavorting.

 I opened the car door and my own three tween passengers tumbled
 and rushed out to lend a hand in the chase.
 I bore witness to a decade at least dropping off of each child 
as they laughed and leapt and snatched at the papers, which in my mind had turned into autumn leaves.
 I saw other people's babies, before they were middle school students.
after only a few moments, the flash mob of paper chasers melted back onto the sidewalks,

 leaving a lone girl standing in a barren street,
awkwardly holding the world's largest bouquet of wrinkled papers.