The Changing of the Guard by Nathan Graziano


The Changing of the Guard

On Fridays the administration springs
for free coffee and donuts in the faculty lounge.
Most of the teachers attempt to attend,
despite the fact the coffee tastes
like it was strained through an old sock,
found on the floor of the boys’ locker room.

The younger faculty members, the ones
still wrinkleless and brimming with theory
are swollen-eyed and beer bloated
from Thursday nights on the town.
They devour chocolate-glazed donuts
and measure out weekend plans,
discussing things of no educational relevance.

I watch them like the home movies
buried in a box in my busy closet.
It wasn’t long ago I stood in fresh shoes,
more forgiving of the coffee’s quality
and believing the world, like my plans,
would work out by Saturday night.

                – Nathan Graziano
                   from Words Dance 9, Spring 2006