They go fast. They lean forward as they walk. They watch each other’s faces closely.
Hands in pockets. The pockets, rectangular slabs of phone. The phones move in and out of pockets, shining oblongs of light.
Someone shouts, ‘Just think how much food you could eat, bro!’
They look in my windows. Bouncing a football, a basketball, a firm punch that argues with the footsteps.
‘Mate, he’ll go down.’ This was shouted lovingly when a motorbike hissed past, the rider standing, plunging through the intersection, the afternoon bakery audience angrily captivated.
They young people are loud. They must converse in shouts. Sometimes a bicycle or a scooter slides through the group, obliging and skilful, the rider chatting as she swerves.
I have spinning balloons that hang underneath the edge of the verandah. Once a boy raised his hand to bang them, but then didn’t.
Huge heavy school bags. Backpacks for the mountain. They bounce from side to side, the weight keeping pace with the walk.
When it’s freezing they wear shorts and t shirts and carry huge bags of twisties. They look through my windows.
They all talk at once. They look in the windows. They walk shoulder to shoulder. Once some boys tapped and tapped on the glass, ‘Hey, guys,’ but the girls inside were not distracted. They had books to get.
Once a kid passing the window answered someone else, ‘I’m not getting a book you dumb arse.’
They are all colourful and glorious in the cold wind.
Penelope and the Suitors by John William Waterhouse, 1912