Out Of Place In Time

Separate entrances for boys and girls,
stairwells labeled up or down,
the words chiseled into architraves,
the arrows painted high on red brick walls—
old veins inside a bright new body,
unnoticed or misunderstood.

It is a Friday afternoon in August,
the computer screens are sleeping,
the copiers shut down. I walk softly,
listening, but no clock ticks, no bell sounds.

The metal doors and hanging ceilings,
the white boards hung on concrete blocks,
squeeze my insides tight. Like the entrances
and stairwells, I am out of place in time.

My classroom doorway opens
on a sealed white box. Inside, time is circling,
soundless; the sudden minute hand is gone.
Through metal vents in concrete walls my
future gasps for air. Ceiling tiles and cinder
blocks are drawing down the blinds.

All afternoon I walk the hallways, searching
for initials carved in wooden doorframes,
for blackboard ledges lined with chalk,
for wooden poles with iron hooks
to rip the windows out.

About the Author:
Bob Meszaros taught English at Hamden High School in Hamden, Connecticut, for thirty-two years. He retired from high school teaching in June of 1999. During the 1970s and the early 80s his poetry appeared in a number of literary journals, such as En Passant and Voices International. In the year 2000 he began teaching part time at Quinnipiac University, and he began once again to submit his work for publication. His poems have subsequently appeared in The Connecticut Review, Main Street Rag, Tar River Poetry, Concho River Review, Innisfree, and other literary journals.