Abandoned Classroom

She was a distracted woman, say the multiple tabs open
on the widescreen desktop computer;
a perimenopausal one too, says the autumnal jacket thrown
on the back of the office chair; and a serious, constant reader,
say the brightly colored bookmarks stuck
in battered copies of Animal Farm, Romeo and Juliet, and Treachery’s Tools,
but not a woman for close friendships, say the lack of happy Birthday comments
on her sparse Facebook timeline.

Connected students worked with her, says the Chromebook cart
topped with nubbed rubber matting and the box of mice
tangled with headphones, and they had college content,
says the heavily laden bookshelf made from brightly stained wood.
Money was scare, say the broken keyboards
and crooked powerplugs wired into individual slots.
And the classroom distracting, say the perpetually open partition walls.
It was high-tech here, says the wireless opaque projector.

Someone invited her to socialize after work, says the ungraded introductions
on the brimming Google Drive tab. Unread books
say she was overscheduled; the tangled headphones
in the cardboard box say she left in an eager haste.
And the college content? Its presence is embedded in the Google Classroom
like threads in a tapestry–, multiple page research paper turned in last week
an assignment for notes from the Norton Field Guide,
a link for citing CC licensed media. Someone invited her to socialize after work, they say.

Inspired by my school’s social committee and Abandoned Farmhouse, by Ted Kooser.

Image attribution:
“Chomebook laptop cart” by Alice Keeler is shared under CC 2.0 license.




  1. This is a really interesting piece of poetry which offers a lot of direct insight into the subject’s life. It’s put together like the narrator is somewhat of a modern Sherlock Holmes, piecing together the nuances of someone’s life from their possessions and habits and makes for a fascinating character study!


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