Long, dark November: Held back but holding up

During teacher training, I was warned all about the challenges of getting through November as a new teacher. This phenomena was referred to as something along the lines of “long, cold, dark November”, when October half-term is a distant memory and the Christmas holidays are too far away to count down to just yet. And here I am – this is no longer a figure of speech! The “cold” part is definitely exasperated by the current requirement to push all classroom windows wide open…

It feels like a small milestone to have already made it past October half term, though, as living a daily contradiction with the label of “lockdown” leaves education settings stretched and squeezed to the limit. I tried to reflect this absurdity in this week’s poem, and hope that it might be relatable for some, whether you identify with dyspraxic traits or otherwise.

Take care everyone,

-misspraxic

Held means Hero

they make a bee line
for the C line tube
where we are all squeezed in:
them with their juice cartons from concentrate
and me with my brain cells concentrated
on just getting through the day,
on getting through to them
in an hourglass squeezed full of sardines
stuck against the frames
wedged open and our few screws
have come loose again
as they shiver the words:

"Miss, do we have to keep them open?"

but coats and mouths are zipped to close
down mentions of the C-word,
for this tube is held
by bleak Outlook pings
and crippling reminders 
that 'Held' means hero in German-
  Held back with 'can't's streaming down my cheeks,
  Held up through the missed minutes 
and unsaid pep talks on weary late nights
Holding us up through the missing links
that test us in tubes
squeezing to burst.
This tube is held…

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