O. Domenico
10/96 Journal of Family Life
Volume 4, Number 1, 1998
Page 7

     Free Period

With delicate FM piano lingering
     In shimmering fluorescent air.
I sit facing a room of empty desks,
     Assorted, dilapidated, dingy, plastic, cheap,
They stare back, crooked rows,
     Pink, green, butterscotch, battered brown.
Across the room, paint peeling,

     Smudged windows dividing the space
Between pedagogy and the real, misty
     Gray world out there. World of
October drizzle, cool dismal, and free.

     Here the desks are held prisoner.
The books are indentured servants.

     The floors support us reluctantly.
The drop ceiling is bored with holding itself up.
    Nothing is here by choice.

The papers strewn across my desk
    Want to run away.
My first period lecture
    Unhindered by student ears
Wanders freely through the autumn brown woods on yonder hill.

    This brick shit barn, a poor container
For life—mine and theirs.
    Thoughts, dreams, fantasies, reflections,
Adolescent angst, amorousness, and
    Old man lust all press against the
Dishwater dull walls, wanting only
     To be wanted, to adhere to life,
To wind their erotic tendrils, seductively
    Around the waist of that wanton world,
To pull it closer, to embrace.

    But stuck inside this hippo-hide rubber called school,
Practicing sage education,
     Safe from the disease of the hunt,
Minds fallen flaccid,
     Souls deflated,
Cock and balls exchanged for clock and bells,
     We wither and waste time
Injuring all our eternities.