When you make my classroom automatic & semi-automatic. When shooters don’t have to reload. With my back flat against the wall. I taught another teacher how to go home today. When a piece of black laminated construction paper affixed to my front door window is a shield. When you debate about whether or not I will wear a concealed Glock in my full grain leather 6” duck boots with the steel shank. When you tell me to use a can of food as a weapon. When you didn’t change the law after the first five-year-old’s brain matter was splattered across the wall of her kindergarten classroom. When the survival quiz became more than a prior knowledge strategy for Lord of the Flies. See the middle part of the Venn diagram; they never have to reload. Get my lesson: I make sure we always go home. We always fight back. When our backs are flat against the wall. When nothing is easy. Then, you and I are never too old or too young to understand the goal; we understand everything: No one asks about our test scores that day. No one complains about unions. Because money matters more than our lives. When power is more potent than math test scores: Take cover: Take my hand. Stay down. Follow the plan.
Will you ever wash it off
Teaching in lock-down
Follow the plan follow the plan follow the plan follow the plan follow the plan follow the plan…
Nancy Klepsch is a poet and retired high school English teacher. She has been published in Fence and online in Barzakh and the Hudson Valley Writers Guild/Albany poets as well as in many online and print publications. She has exhibited or curated public poetry installations throughout the Capital Region of Upstate NY; some of these installations received grant awards from Breathing Lights, the New York State Council on the Arts via its community-based arts grants program, the City of Troy, NY and the Albany International Airport. god must be a boogie man is her first published book of poems and is available directly from email@example.com