Michael Griffith

For Kathi Paluscio

Lights off, door locked—
The classroom is so still.
Rows of faceless desks, their
empty seats would absorb no sound.
Only red ambient from the EXIT sign
and the stale carpet’s pale odors remain
in her vacant classroom.


An echo like lark’s song, a shadow,
then a bustle of colors, that swirl of sound
she was, that gust of energy and joy and
words only echo now, only ripples.
The lessons she shared ripple out,
touch beyond her reach, still. Her
classroom now someone else’s.


The classroom now alive. Voices
fill its air and new sounds pattern.
A spring, a summer, fall, still.

About the author:
Michael A. Griffith teaches at Mercer County and Raritan Valley Community Colleges in central NJ. His three chapbooks are New Paths to Eden, Bloodline, and Exposed. Recent works have appeared in Kelsey Review, U.S. 1 Worksheets, North of Oxford, Page & Spine, and Haiku Journal.

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