The morning fire burned brightly
With the advice to raise expectations,
But it burned out
When the oxygen got sucked
From the room
By a vacuum of apathy
That my enlightened mood
Barely had chance
Combating the sesamoid feelings of the past.
The flock had been flown
Right into the ache of bureaucracy,
When the goals espoused
Sometimes lack alignment
With the goals of youngsters growing up.
The political hankering for accountability,
For all but the political bodies,
Tore through the interest of the flock
Long before they landed on this steam killing morning.
I listened, as they were supposed, to directions
Lost in the cavernous space of the room.
I thought of the founding fathers
Haggling over the decree for independence
As the flock bowed down to the whim authority and
I nearly cried, literally, for what they were experiencing
With their little books, highlighters, and massive calculators.
For these chicks of educational propriety, I offered as much positivity
As allowed by law,
But mostly I walked the aisles between the picnic tables
Losing my pep with each step
Until I went Billy Hayes and shuffled with the grimness of prison
In a catatonic state of “Why?”
One in the flock
Finished in record time,
Like the college Algebra exam I saw little point in taking back in ’86
Since the inclusion of letters into math
Made little sense to me.
Another put his head down,
The drool nearly reaching the floor
Before he sprung up shocked
To still be sitting in a folding chair.
My walking took me to Lexington, Virginia
Where I was trying to make sense of Sally Mann’s biography
And wishing I had her balls.
Then I sauntered over to Delta House
Longing for the comedy of life
To return to this young flock
Who we are making grow up too fast,
At least in an academic sense
For we hold them back in every other way.
As the insanity of being a guard settled in
The voice of David Lee Roth provided the sound track
For a vision my mind conjured up
That was partly accurate with the MTV anthem,
“Panama” looping on my gray matter screen and
Partly art house theater when cuts of Risky Business
Seeped into Eddie’s guitar solos
Like a painting by Salvador Dali.
The black humor of it all is that the first one finished
Needed a bathroom break,
For which an escort is required.
I took that opportunity
To get off the hardwoods
And onto some solid tiles,
But I had a thought that
Maybe he would like to read away
The last ninety minutes of his two hour sentence.
Surprisingly, he accepted and took a book
About the power of the decisions we each make.
He read the whole time, but never gave the book back.
Later, I saw him and he extended the book my way.
When I asked him if he was finished,
He shook his head no and asked if he could hang onto it.
Maybe he got something today,
But the test will never know.
He will, though.