Not a single student escapes

the lash of a pen .

A clean sheet of paper is dirtied

with the red of a checkmark

screaming, "You are never good enough."


Chipped blackboards

hold the words long lost,

erased and forgotten,

of students long gone.


Forced into sifting through English's composition

and science's inner most secrets,

we dissect algebra on a surgical table.

Yet learn nothing except how to navigate an ocean

of a hallway.


Drowning in a sea of anxiety,

ankles chained to textbooks, tests, and teachers,

as you inhale water tainted by the spines of old books

and sweaty teenagers.


But I clutch to ripcords of belief,

I'm not a chameleon to the brick wall.

I'm hanging to fistfuls of poetry

like loose change in my pockets,

till my head rises above the waves

and the tide releases me to graduation.


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