First Day Jitters

We walked orange streaked hallways
with imposing red lockers.
Around the corners, whispers in huddles.
We readied the sandwiches.
We readied the sign-in sheet.
Staring at the grain in the wooden door,
we bided our time.
We rehearsed our lines.
The prompts were in our hands, but
our hands were shaking.
Anxiety between you and me.
There were no expectations of what
would come running through that door,
and what I expected deep, in the recesses
of my mind, I’m still
not sure.
I sat silent, practicing faces in my phone,
trying to look welcoming
as the kids come streaming in.

Getting to Know The Students

It’s hard to get to know someone
when you feel worlds apart.
You feel a great quaking,
an aching in your heart.
But you think this will never work:
we’re two different works of art—
a mentor and a student,
but no wisdom to impart.
The world is silent now,
and there seems to be no start
or end to this game,
so I guess I must depart.
But wait I think I hear you say
Let’s just give it a shot.
Tell me. What songs do you sing?
What stories have you got?
And soon we get to talking
about the hardships of the day,
and now we’re laughing and joking,
connection formed with no delay.
Knowing you seemed a challenge,
and trust seemed like a dream,
until the sea between you and me
shrunk into a stream.

Seth Stone is a graduate student in the MFA Creative Writing program.