Cutting School




          Just before 1st period,

          jacked up on 100% of the

          caffeine from the best Colombian

          coffee beans that money can buy,

          I made an executive decision.


          I ran, did not walk, ran

          screaming down the hall, paying

          no attention to the other teachers,

          all pain-stakingly lecturing away like

          little worker bees to the glossed-over

          eyes of the disinterested, as if each

          were Plato, reciting The Republic.


          I turned the run into a sprint,

          Tom Cruise style, arms in full blown

          pumping action as I lofted a folder

          full of handouts in the air behind

          me, leaving the huge flakes falling

          in my slipstream, banging the bar

          to the parking lot door like an

          NFL lineman leaving the line

          of scrimmage, then slid TV-detective

          like over the hood of my car, jumped

          in, starting it in one fell swoop, barely

          missing a school bus and a startled

          group of 4th graders, book bags-a-flying

          as I peeled out of the lot, as eager

          as a C-average senior on the last

          day of school, no plan, packing

          six dollars in my pocket, the sun

          in my face, my hat turned backwards,

          a defiant grin and a world of asphalt

          opportunity in front of me.






                                                                Steve Shilling