Today's Poetry Bus is driven by Karen. And in this back-to-school season - yes! - School is the ticket.
It was the place where
She didn't like how you made your letters
though you understood them perfectly
so you learned to pretend you were copying
not writing something from your head.
Kids running around on the blacktop
grabbing the swings first, always
faster, stronger, noisier than you.
Kids swarming in a mass you stayed out of.
Teenagers in their cliques
You could be better than them at science and art,
and holding your breath underwater, better than most
but never at talking talking talking reading the secret code of hairstyles.
Hurrying from section to lecture hall
ten minutes between subjects, barely enough to get there
suddenly you don't know all the answers.
The books. Yes, the books had to be read, be underlined and highlighted.
Seminars weekly. Endless lab hours. Papers to write, slides to prepare.
swimming in the deep end.
one professor, just one. A committee. A roomful of faces peering.
A book to write, a copyright, a last diploma, end of the line.
Come back to the lecture hall.
Come back and face the other way. You cannot get out.
You thought you were done, but school never ends. It just takes a break.
How shall we manage?
9 hours ago