Fifteen desks. A poem

by G. R. Poirier

Fifteen desks
of lack.
heads bowed, dipping
upanddown, now
stare, the searchlight glare.
Pen in mouth
cogitating mastication
mental anguish,
Afraid to try and fail.

Fifteen desks
of courage.
pencil scratching, sniffles
page flips, taptaptap.
I know, I can
write, think, be.
smile, nod
head bent, brow furrowed.
Erase, rewrite
my future, the past.

Fifteen desks
of questions.
a glance, a whisper
nod, smile again.
Tomorrow, next year, five years.
Bricks, stones, wheels, wires.
A look, deep breath
Will I? Will he? Will she?
And when? How long until then?
Breathe, sigh, sniffle, hand up.
Hand in. Now?

Fifteen desks
I can’t fix.
tagged, scratched into the top.
Somebody made their mark, it lasts.
One leg too short, one seat too loose.
Colors don’t match, that one green, this one blue.
Gum and godknows
whatelse stuck underneath.
too many of them are marred.
more every year.
Maybe one day they’ll get the money
and fix the desks. Most likely we’ll
just get new ones.

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