I pulled some strings and filled a vacant post:
a year, they said, then straight back to the chalk.
Well, years compress like book-ends. When the talk
of going back was gone, I made the most
of easy days, no classes, strict decrees
by Act of Self. I manufactured looks
that terrified the juniors bearing books
the least bit overdue. The spelling bees
were necessary chores, put on for show.
The bouncy new recruits were almost nice
(well, I’m the one that every teacher fears
and Dewey’s code is not for them to know).
I sat content, dispensed my tired advice,
and did not read a book in twenty years.