303: Ode to September (or August, as the case may be)

Ode to September

Oh, cruel September!

I can but remember

The joyous summer days gone past;

when beach and mountain beckoned to me

with warm waves which seemed would ever last,

and forest lanes where endless pleasures I could see –

All come to naught with your advent.

Oh, cruel September!

Vanished now my delicious slumber;

Shrieking alarm brings me cold awake

to dress before dawn and gather my stuff,

presenting myself for duty’s sake

to sullen children. I must be tough!

To the classroom I have been sent.

Oh, cruel September!

Long months stretch ahead: November, December,

days of complaints and endless grading.

The scent of chalk dust fills my head.

Copy machine: more and more copying,

lessons to make and dry books to read.

Against these papers I must make a dent!

Oh, cruel September!

I am but a member

of the cast of unwilling teachers.

Not unwilling today to teach

But unwilling to sit out life on the bleachers.

The pupils I touch and those I can’t reach;

my patience and compassion today have been lent.

Oh, cruel September!

My mind, it is limber

With memories of the fun I have had.

Fear not! At the end of this dark time that’s ahead

Is another season of joy. Don’t be sad.

Even if I meet these coming months with dread

Of the coming delights I can see a hint!


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