Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Finals Week

That the math teacher hung himself was no surprise,
and that he waited till the morning of the final exam

was to his credit. He left his students in the proctor's
capable hands. The surprise was to see which of the boys

turned up outside the city hospital to watch him gurneyed
to the idling car that was to return him to his country town.

Not the boys from the front row in class, who smiled
with respect and never forgot the quadratic equation,

no; it was the boys who threw flour bombs behind his back,
flew paper airplanes with sewing needle tips in class,

boys who carved their names in desks, who wrote poetry
in bathroom stalls, who never got an answer right in their life.

Standing round the circle drive at the back entrance
during finals week, boys who know what it is to fail.

Mark Mullee

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