Heart racing as if a mile had been lost,
at odds with the stillness of a newly
emptied room, taking in the failure
of pencils on the floor and books left
on tables. He sees ghosts, hears the
echo of children’s voices, careless and
free now it has gone three, oblivious
of the anguish stalking this classroom;
a place conflicted all day, growing
through the week with doors groaning
at opened windows, reluctant papers
shying away from pens equally
ambivalent about their marking duties.
And why would it be like this, this day
he’d planned for, attended seminars
about, circled in red in his diary;
this last day of all terms?
Jonathan Humble is a teacher in Cumbria. His poetry has appeared in The Big Issue, Ink Sweat & Tears and Obsessed With Pipework Magazine. His short stories for children have been published in The Caterpillar and The Stew Magazine.