The piles of grubby books, pristine
Back in September days when leaves were turning
And shoes were shining straight from Clark’s.
But now they’ve passed through many hands
As pens were chewed, checking answers nervously
Before they passed them back to teachers waiting
With red pens, ready to write ‘well done,
Good try’. But think of all those hours
Buried under marking schemes and reams
Of answers for so many hours,
Burning candles at the midnight hour,
Sleep filled eyes are drooping with
A sadness as she sees that pile
That isn’t going down. She’ll carry on
For many hours yet to come, waking on
The sagging sofa as the sun begins to rise.