By Thomas Page
The closest thing to silence echoes through the room.
The lesson plans of other teachers bleed in through the walls
Like a gushing wound by a riverbed
To set the stage of unease.
The occasional flip of paper
Or the clawing of an eraser
Work in syncopation led by no conductor.
Does murder cry out in the night or does it protest too much
In the worries of students trying to memorize Webster’s spellings of the Greeks and Romans.
And what shades of difference do synecdoche and metonymy have under the lamp of a rubric—
Written in red—
The color of low marks branded into the psyche american
That missing means failure
And lost purpose
Like a salmon ensnared in a grizzly’s jaw
Bleeding the same red as the teacher’s ink.