Tuesday, August 23, 2016

THE NIGHT BEFORE SCHOOL . . . (An original poem)

Today was the last day of our five days of in-service training, and tonight was our annual secondary "meet the parent" night.  While waiting around this afternoon between getting my room finished and waiting for the assembly to begin, I noted how quiet the school building was - and yet there was some aura of expectation hanging over it at the same time.  So I sat and wrote this poem, the first time I have ever posted any of my original poetry on this blog.     Let me know what you think!

The hallways are silent, shining lockers stand row on row,
The doors are festooned with signs, all some variant of "hello."
Bulletin boards are plastered with pictures, heroes and kittens and historic scenes,
And students shudder as thoughts of homework invade their final summer dreams.
Teachers lie awake, worrying whether or not everything got done.
All of them dreading the shrilling alarm, and the coming of the late August sun.
But for now, the school is quiet - just mice and crickets go a-roaming.
Summer lasts for one more night, as the twilight enters gloaming.
Memories made, good times shared, ball games, beach, and tans,
All these run through students' minds, remembering their friends.
Teachers think of trips they took, books they read, projects done, lawns mown.
But most of all blissfully remember no alarm to sound before the dawn.
Tomorrow the bustle will commence, quiet halls will echo loudly.
Students will chatter between their classes, school colors displayed proudly.
All the rituals, both fun and solemn, of American education,
will be acted out once more, with willing or grudging participation.
Romances will kindle, epic games be played, tests studied for and passed;
Rabbit trails will be pursued, and deep philosophical questions asked.
But for one more night, the school is silent, a tomb of steel and stone,
And if this building were allowed to speak, it might give a chuckle or a moan.
For these halls have seen it all before - the drama, the romance, and the humor.
It's heard the cheers, the laughs, the shouts, and knows the truth behind every rumor.
For this last night, the schoolhouse sleeps, its hallways deaf and its ceilings dumb.
Tomorrow the cycle begins again, when the doors are unlocked and the students come.
Lewis B. Smith
August 2016

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