Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Parent-Teacher Conference

Her eyes were wide,
black pupils fixed on me.
A little bit of frothy white spittle 
flew out of her mouth as she shouted at me.
Teeth bared, tiny red lipstick stain 
on her front tooth.
“Don’t you walk away from me!”
she commanded.
“How dare you say such a thing
to my daughter!”
This daughter’s stare
was fixed to the ground,
her shame an invisible
but magnetic spot at her feet.
“I’ll have your job!”
her mother insisted.
Other teachers, other parents,
curious, gleeful students
stopping mid-stride now,
staring, waiting
for a violent resolution.
I was fixed to the spot,
not ashamed,
not apologetic,
but frozen in the moment
like a hapless Neanderthal
caught in an avalanche.

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