Still awed by your prowess
in the three-ring circus of education;
You will ever be
lion-tamer, trapeze artist and juggler:
are your spinning plates
and you do it amazingly well.
Teaching middle schoolers
was something I thought I could do
until that eighth year
when waves of nausea assaulted me
the closer I got to the school parking lot
every morning after intolerable nights:
waking up in cold sweats at 2 a.m,
breaking down over nothing,
trying and failing to love my enemies . . .
It felt like standing on that bridge;
The Scream by Munch—
ongoing, endlessly repeating
in slow motion, relentless.
How do you not become disgusted
depressed, cynical and dismissive
of the unfunny clown show
as the suited specters approach?