The District Education Improvement Committee Meeting
Her purse is propped against the leg
That folds beneath the table’s end.
The purse is not adjacent to
Her folded arm, her lotioned hand.
She props her glasses on her nose,
She palms her chin and furrows brow.
The sup’rintendent makes his point:
“Here’s what I want.” She questions how.
A finger rises to require
Attention from its fellow hands.
The super finds a place to pause.
The finger asks how much he spends.
The secretary takes her notes,
The members doodle on their pads.
The meeting lasts, and lasts some more,
Like a parade of millipedes.
Attrition takes a grievous toll.
This one, that one, they take their leave.
A matter presses, duty calls —
For now it’s done, what they improve.
The ones remain who stand and stretch,
Who faced the grim agenda down.
Theirs be the praise, the accolade,
Defenders of the cap and gown.
(Copyright 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.)