The Teacher

By Tom Recht

Once upon a lesson boring, as I nodded, nearly snoring,
  And the shatters of once-soaring interest lay upon the floor -
As my mind swayed close to dreaming, suddenly there came a screaming,
  As of someone madly steaming, steaming like a rabid boar -
  "'Tis some teacher," thus I muttered, "yelling at my mind's back door -
    This it is and nothing more."

I remember it quite sober - it was in the dull October,
  And each separate passing lesson was a stupefying bore,
Drowsily I wished the recess, as I yawned myself to pieces,
  While ignoring the caprices of inculcators of Lore;
  Stuffy and self-satisfied repeaters of unneeded Lore -
    This they were and nothing more.

And the rigid, senseless turning of each page of useless learning
  Drove me hungering and yearning for cessation of this chore;
Thus it was that when the shouting did commence, I sat not doubting
  That the object of this clouting was some other sophomore -
  "'Tis some teacher," thought I, "fuming over someone's meager score -
    Only this and nothing more."

Presently my lids grew cumbrous, and I found myself too slumbrous
  To prolong my visit further on the daylight's wakeful shore -
So with little ceremony did I cast my head down, stony,
  As an acted testimony to my eagerness to snore -
  And it was without delay that I did then commence to snore -
    This I did and nothing more.

Hereupon the shouts waxed louder, and a cloud of whitish powder
  Drifted like some airy chowder past my desk's pristine decor;
I upturned my nose and, sneezing, found it to be quite unpleasing,
  For its scent was that of chalk, and this it amply did outpour -
  Then I viewed a vile behemoth near me on the classroom floor,
    Screaming at me, "Out the door!"

Long I gazed at this foul creature, who was called a History Teacher,
  Thinking humbly to beseech her for the reasons of her roar,
For too lowly was my station for affray or altercation
  Prior to my graduation from these stately halls of Lore -
  And too abject was my rank to challenge such a Dean of Lore,
    Screaming at me, "Out the door."

But my sleepiness compelling my dumb fury into swelling,
  I then found myself quite yelling at this beast of phlegm and gore -
"With a face so gnarled of feature, thou," I said, "must be a Teacher;
  Tell me - thus do I entreat your kindness - wert thou bred of boar? -
  Tell me now thy appellation in this school's Stygian shore."
    Quoth the Teacher, "Out the door."

But my sleepiness compelling all my fury into swelling,
  I then lapsed into expelling wrathful anger at this boor;
And, my acrimony waxing, I exclaimed, "'Tis truly taxing
  To be hindered from relaxing by thy contumelious roar -
  Quit the space beside my desk, and shuffle off across this floor!"
    Quoth the Teacher, "Out the door."

Then a notion seemed to scorch her - doubtless some new form of torture
  Fabricated to discomfit me and make my spirit sore;
And, so sure she had unmasked me, this conundrum she then asked me:
  "In what battle, noble scholar, did a British fighting corps
  Rout and crush a French division that had thrice their strength or more,
    In the Hundred Years' War?"

But, as one to whom such history would remain a thing of mystery
  Versus all this specked and blistery Teacher's preaching of her Lore,
I could hazard but a gamble as to what reply this ramble
  Meant to coax from me of things befallen centuries before -
  And, lacking counsellor or panel to assist me in this chore,
    I quoth, "Fifteen forty-four."

What a flow of wicked laughter this ogress unleashed thereafter!
  For my answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
And, with insolent demeanor, she said, "Thou art proven meaner
  Than the meanest troglodyte who ever robe of learning wore;
  For the apposite reply here is the Clash of Agincourt;"
    And again quoth, "Out the door."

"Be those words your sign of leaving, twisted crone!" I shrieked, upheaving
  All my papers into maelstroms, gales and hurricanes galore -
"Take thy form from by my table just as soon as thou art able,
  And begone to that dark Babel where thou must have dwelt before;
  Let my dreams progress unbreached, let me sound a blissful snore -
    This of thee do I implore!"

But the Teacher, stubborn clinger, still does linger, still does linger,
  Pointing foul and chalk-stained finger at me from the classroom floor,
And her eyes have all the flaring of a devil's that is swearing,
  And the lamp-light o'er her glaring throws her shadow on the floor,
  And my soul from out that shadow I may never yet restore
    Till it's lifted - out the door.


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(c) 1999 Tom Recht