Last Day (for the Student)
Students in the halls
Lockers clang open and shut.
Shouts of joy resound.
Last Day (for the Teacher)
Silence in the halls
A year becomes a mem’ry
It’s time to move on
About the poems
These were originally written June 5, 2006, when I was teaching in school, and this is the commentary I included in my journal:
This is what I observed today at school as the last final exam was finished and the students were dismissed. The students exuded pure joy as they bounded out of the classrooms to begin their summer break.
The second poem is the last day of the school year from the teacher’s perspective. I had a particular teacher in mind, Holly Shiveley, because she is moving away and will not be returning to this school next year. After all the students were gone, the halls indeed were silent. This silence lent to the moment both grief and relief—grief over the students and teachers that will be missed, but relief that yet another year, with all its stresses and labors, is behind us. I thought of making the last line read, “Time to look ahead.” This would give a lighter, more optimistic tone to the poem. However, for now I want to wallow in the emotions of the good-byes.
Copyright © 2018 Angela Umphers Rueger – All Rights Reserved
Japanese poetic form of 5-7-5 syllables, similar in appearance to a haiku, but the subject is human nature as opposed to nature in general.