Thursday, April 23, 2009


as the other students in the class
chat in quiet amiability while
working on their writing project
these young ladies just sat and talked
their volume rising slowly
almost imperceptibly
but steadily nonetheless

if they are going to refuse to work
why can't they at least do it quietly
like the ones who sleep so soundly
through the class every single day

but no
they insist on sitting there
publicly emoting to each other
the dramas of their lives
and their day at school

to be honest
some of them do indeed
live through a great deal of real drama
too much to contend with
at their young age)

i wrestle with myself
as i observe them
heat slowly rising
in my face
in lockstep with
their increasing volume

i could do something
to make them quiet down
i could get up
and just sit near them
make them nervous
tenth graders detest
a teacher's propinquity

but my stomach is roiling
and jumping inside me
feels like i've been
repeatedly gut-punched
should have stayed home
but felt obligated
to come and teach them

most students are working
or at least appearing to
knowing that negative attention
lowers their grades
just these four loud talkers
inconsiderately interfering
with everyone's thought processes

so i reach to my left
and grab for the stack
of preprinted forms
ones i have prepared for
just such an occasion
and fill out detentions
for my chatty friends

see you all soon

©2009-Art Belliveau

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