Age Limit

When I run a summer camp, I buy the kids street chalk. They make crude flowers; scrawl their names. They scribble over messages: “Jace likes Brennan. I hate you Gracie.”

I check on the kids from the gymnasium window. They squat, hop around, lay on the asphalt sidewalk, drawing.

One day, while playing board games, a little boy tugged my shirt. “Something’s wrong outside.”

A group was huddled around a drawing. Two girls argued, “That’s not what it is.”

“I know what that is.”

“Now we can’t have chalk.”

Down the street, older boys, too old for camp, pedaled away.

Colby Cotton is from a small town in western New York. He will be attending the MFA writing program at UNC Greensboro in fall 2015 for poetry. He has poetry published in The Cross Review, VAYAVYA and forthcoming from The Allegheny Review.