1st September 2014: a poem

The summer comes to a clanging close.
Gas rises up within me and my internal pipes bang.
I imagine the faces of the children I have yet to get to know.
They scare the inside of my head.
My stomach just isn’t even there
and fear gnaws at me.

I lie on my bed and the damn clock
snicks time away closer to the first day.
Do the other children lie on their beds
wondering what kind of teacher they are getting?
Will he be kind to them if they forget?
WIll they be kept in detention often?

The statue of the Budda sits in the corner.
I know what he would say,
‘Just say yes to all of this.’
I want the darkness to douse
the coming day and make my tormets
vanish into soft daydreams.

Chatting to teachers in the staffroom makes it worse.
The school principal is breezily indifferent.
Children play hopscotch on the yard.
My stomach drums, drums in the deep.
I cannot get out. A shadow passes over me.
The bell goes. They are coming.

(Published in The Blue Nib issue 38, June 2019)

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