By Kerri Haerinck
In the beginning, everything was blue.
Wilting trees hung low,
shadowing the sunken faces of townspeople.
They walked on uneven ground,
shuffling their steps on poorly-laid brick.
Their shuffling marked time—
one second, shuffle; two seconds, shuffle—
the town clock booming every 3600 shuffles.
Suddenly scuffed knees and scratched palms froze time.
The townspeople turned their heads from their feet,
their routine disrupted by a misstep, a careless tumble.
A tiny sound escaped one mouth, then another,
slowly overtaking the entire population,
a fit of giggles, foreign to their land.
Time began to tick again,
relying on shuffles no more,
but on skips and jumps and strides.