Another dark morning I feel less than ready
to teach adolescents about how their dying world works—
no sex or sea levels, with evolution I should expect
seven AM arguments with moms and dads.
There’re the smoke stacks again, orange in the sunrise
and the cantina sign, what power to always emit
the brightest neon. Clutch in, 2nd gear, whoops—
a stale yellow.
I wish I could write like I’m from the Midwest,
find metaphors for broken porch swings in August,
aromas of meatloaf and manure,
or to see the water tower in the distance,
to hear the windchimes and watch old women
in periwinkle nightgowns, walking dogs at dusk.
I should have called grandma back.
She could be dead any day now.
I guess that’s true for us all.
Amber leaves are still on the ground.
Nothing changed since fall passed
away one month ago. The moon faints
from exhaustion, the children wait for the
bell, and I’ve left today’s purpose
on my bedroom nightstand.
CAMILLE NEWSOM is a middle school science teacher in Colorado Springs, CO. She finds inspiration for her creative work in the joys and challenges of teaching adolescents about the odd mechanics of the world.