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Riding My Schwinn to Wienerschnitzel During My Conference Period


I should be grading papers right now,
even though I already know the outcome:
a steady stream of scarlet scores, fragile,
low, like the concern from those
whose apathetic hands birthed them.

They don’t care; why should I?

I was craving chili-cheese fries,
a manufactured mountain of grease, gluttony,

Ask any poet their definition of escape:

      stepping outside oneself, AWOL,
      always coming back to the source
      of inspiration.

Ask any teacher their definition:

      running outside the campus,
      away from PTA, SATs, ADHD,
      never second-guessing or looking back.

Part of me wants to sit in the
cracked leather chair
the bankrupt district has furnished me,
scribble obscenities in the form of
letter grades,
an assembly line of procrastination
and consternation.

The other part wants to
sip soda on the fast food bench,
chili-fried legs dangling from my lips
like processed past participles,
contemplating the consequences
if my principals ever see this in print.

(freshly published at Underground Voices Magazine)


About Daniel Romo

Author of Apologies in Reverse (FutureCycle Press, 2019), When Kerosene's Involved (Mojave River Press, 2014) and Romancing Gravity (Silver Birch Press, 2013). I'm partial to prose poems. Alliteration. And fragments.

2 responses »

  1. Thanks James. Nothing like chili cheese fries after a long day.

  2. I wish there was a Wienershnitzel near my school. I could have used the escape today.

    I like the poem, especially the two definitions of escape and the sense of futility we teachers all too often feel.


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