Work, Poem

busWe’re mere inches and millimeters away from the start of the public school year here in NYC, and the District 7 high school where I work is abuzz, I mean abuzz, with go-get-it-ness and get-it-done-ness and other forms of generalized optimism before the students arrive and deflate these many tires. Ohhh man, what it is to teach. What it is.

At any rate, we had one of our last big meetings today ahead of next week’s start, and a wee contest was held to see who could write an impromptu poem drawn entirely from the urgent, frantic, frenetic texts we collectively sent each other across the course of the previous year. To follow, behold, my humble offering. This poem is inspired by true events. Any similarity to the name, character, or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.


I’m pretty sure we’ll be fine.
I think this is pretty secure.
Let’s do the common routines and systems meeting.

The halls are loud.
Lidio– did he make it?
Donald has arrived.
Tichina is here.
Jordan should be removed,
And placed in another room.
Left Oscar’s Mom a voicemail.
Told her it was a mistake.

Joshua T—— came in,
And said “Deez nuts!” to me.
I need Pablo removed ASAP.
Behavior is incredibly disrespectful.
Got the “stone cold stare” from Rhianna
When I asked her where she was headed.

Katherine and Shaiann left room.
Think they can go eat a full breakfast
Of egg and sausage,
And sit,
And talk.

Richard R—– only half wearing scrubs.
Much marijuana showing.

Jailene and Jelena salsa dancing in class.

Anthony is still in here.
He and Pablo screaming,
“These hoes ain’t loyal!”
Stole my mittens.
Said you could shove
Detention up my ass.

There are drinks.
Happy hour.
If anyone has two Tylenol
I’d be so grateful.
I don’t know where I’m going.
But I am on my way.