the cold, flat desktop, a cool cloth placed on 30 sweaty heads and faces reddened with the racing games of 9-year-olds at recess.
Across the darkened room, rows of bowed heads on bent forms waited, silhouetted against the bright light of the windows, as teacher rustled through papers at her desk or her footsteps slipped out the door and trailed off down the hall, gathering things for class.
From beneath my elbow in the quiet room, I could see others’ eyes straining to find her, their cheeks firmly glued to the wonderfully cool slab. And one curious head, lifting and looking for a moment--before finding teacher’s eye and relaxing again onto the calming surface.
Until, with all rested and settled quietly to begin, she moved to the doorway and turned on the light.
Every head lifts and turns—
and follows her path around the room.
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