August in the Principal’s Office

I remind myself
that the first year
they started with classes in tents

Straight rows of white canvas
holding students reading
Virgil and Homer and
not thinking about
the war to come
still stinging from
the great crash
hungry
to learn
at a brand new school

Their school,
now my school too,
is eighty this August
without tents
but still under construction
and still filled with students
hungry to learn

And just as Mr. Main
the first principal,
described in the yearbook on my desk as

“Industrious…friendly…cooperative…
….good sport…sparse of hair…
…punctual…
…modest…neat…
…vocalizes in lusty tones…”

(words
some close to home;
some to be emulated)

I sit in the same office
that principals have
since the Roosevelt administration
and prepare for students to arrive
just days from now
hungry to learn.

photo 4 (6)

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