You know that it usually comes in tip-toes,
with the dove tails.
The guilt and the shame,
two peace abiding omniverts
before ambiguity presses hard on our teenage fingers.
Before adulthood gets us sleeping beyond 8 A.M. curfews
and bingeing on fast food collectives more than television.
The yin and the yang,
yo-yo mechanics of arguments,
up for debate,
ooze out like sap from the legacied tree
tasted by top of the class.
The swollen head, limp limbs,
That’s school life,
tawdry and imperfect,
fantastically pro-choice only in word and photo-op deeds.
And I know the fracture comes,
not from the half constructed sixth floor caving in
but by not having a doodle and sign off on the hand cast
or one last entry on the scrap book.
Those Cheshire grins and last minute rote learning
and rebel in the rye fields,
invoking the ballad of Holden Caulfield,
remembered from everybody’s favourite class assignment,
we drink it all in.
Symbolic figureheads of high school,
outcasts by selective counts
and class monitors by one vote down,
all true in the fount, for the next ten years.
That’s the charisma of unlikely friendships
between front-runners and backbenchers,
backbenchers and runners,
as they go off like rockets in rage and sensibilities,
off into the grey blaze.
There’s an army of locusts,
descending on the minefield where we stand together,
as we pull out bricks
from this ugly, ruddy concrete bibliotheque
with an expansive name.
And this, here, is the valedictorian,
with the commencement speech in quips and quibbles,
with spirits and bold fonts and digitized detoxification,
from the class of 2020,
all put to paper in messy black ink and rainbow souls,
with fists in hearts and a murmur of changing the next decade,
pudgy and developing like the nations,
against the shrill back-handedness of authority.
For every resolution comes in crests and little accidental assemblages.
And this is the first.
This poem was something that came to me as a revisionist take from the prism of my inner thoughts while looking back at high school and how the present era grapples with the uncertainty of post Covid negotiation with education, reconciling with the flaky foundations of it all in the first place. One can call it a rant, a rebel cry or just a picture of reality.