School Day


United States
38° 57' 47.8512" N, 75° 47' 1.1724" W

I awake to the sound of a blaring ring
An obscenely hideously early hour
In darkness I struggle to wake myself
I stumble to make it first to the shower
The cold water like a sudden bold of energy
After minutes I race out feeling falsely ready
I throw on clothes and glare at the mirror
The pantry is calling my name
The sweet smell of cereal wafts to my nose
My repast cut short by the clock's changes
7:00, time to go to school.

Passing the same bland houses everyday
Kids wait for the buses with sleepy faces
Suddenly we're there and I'm out in the cold
Sanding against a fence like prisoners
Waiting to be gestured across the street
We disappear through yawning doors
Into a pale block and linoleum world
The only thing growing here is the mold.

We gather our supplies at our lockers
Carefully supervised as we reach into the dark
Then onto one room after another
Only the faces change
Lunch is a uniform chaos
Rising voices, something they call food
The unfriendly cafeteria ladies don't know
That men march on their stomachs
Here we crawl on our brains.

The clock hands turn and turn
Slower as the day goes on
Counting the minutes teachers and students
Wait for the bell to sound freedom
The bell rings, blessed relief
But we leave with burgeoning arms
Full of papers and projects
On useless facts and figures
In a few years we'll never see them again.

Home to relaxation, for an hour anyway
Before the sister comes through the door
And wants to tell me all she has to say
The Xbox calls me away from my sorrows
I vent my frustration on a kid
Somewhere in the UK
It all evens out, I'll die another day.

The drums pound out my emotions
Whether anger, bliss, or angst
The walls vibrate with all the things
That I never seem to say
Out to the yard, where I dribble and shoot
Then roam the woods with my dog
Always there, patient and listening
Mom calls me for dinner
The family gathers briefly
To wolf down the feast
Then scattering again to our corners.

The clock is winding down
My eyes want to close
But it is time to open the books and
Fill my mind with facts I don't want
To spit them back out tomorrow
Onto a graded sheet of paper.

My eyes start to close.

Then a blaring ring again.


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