Too Much Distance?

This summer term was restricted pandemonium,
relatively unrecognisable from the beforetimes.

The last day of school, of the entire school year
spent at home. No fun pranks, mini crimes.

Not this time. Not now. Education conducted
from bedroom, desk, and lounge.
We’ve all got a little bit better 
at blocking out other sounds. 

And you might well feel robbed.
Not of an education, per se.
Since you know that your teachers were still trying, 
at the end of every trudging day, as they sat still sighing.

And though it’s been utterly different,
a totally new school experience, 
it’s been… kind of alright? If you’re allowed to say that?
With a few notable, key exceptions. 

The back garden doesn’t make a good playground. 
Without leaving your household you can’t fall in love. 
There’s no drama played out in school toilets.
No classmates to wind-up, push, shove.

They say you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone,
well you never thought you’d miss that hubbub, that sound
of everyone queuing for lunch.
Taking the piss and messing around.
You never thought you’d miss the uncomfortable chairs,
the grubby keyboards of the IT department. 
And in this new climate you wince just to think
how many people had touched every last surface. 

The human brain is a unique animal,
and it’s turning things round, 
how it twists them. 
How is it that your mind
is putting a positive spin
on things now you’ve got 

too much distance? 

You’re pretty sure you never enjoyed the thrill 
of not knowing when you’d touch gum under the table.
You’re pretty sure you don’t miss the class clown, 
But he’s been in your dreams.
Does that make you unstable?

You don’t think you ever liked the rituals.
Can’t remember feeling delighted by them.
But they stand in sharp contrast to the loneliness of the last…
God, you can’t even keep track of the time with no whiteboard! 

Goodbye to the weird mess of the past academic year, goodbye to a pandemic summer term.
You’ll live out the holidays in a heart full of hope,
that soon you’ll get back to the bits that you yearn.

teacher poems
Claire Poynton-Smith

Claire Poynton-Smith

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Claire is a trained English teacher with an MA in Viking and Anglo Saxon Studies. She desperately misses Nottingham’s thriving poetry scene and the chance to perform her poems and spoken word pieces.