Point of Balance

by Fiona Sinclair

Locked in a day of institutional order,
language reduced to acronym and cant,
we closed our circle against the frenzy of conspicuous
activity and planted nostalgia around that shabby table.

Time and place and understanding were aligned

again like a gymnastics display team.
Exhaustion was democratising, even the shyest
contributed to the blackboard humour.

Understanding that our actual absence
would rupture the school time table,
We holidayed on alternative afternoons,
giving ourselves a second wind for the last lesson.

Inevitably our point of balance teetered.
Even then some were planning their escape.
The ambitious slowly peeled off their disguise.
Politicians clustered like toadstools.

The rest of us succumbed to institutional moaning,
our banter was replaced by recreational slander.
The incorruptible went to earth,
encountered only at meetings or in corridors.

Our table was turned over to model teachers
who worked through lunch.

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