An interminable hallway A stretch of nonentity Whose frightening luminescence Flicker, in the form of fluorescent lighting In the almost effective hope That eyes will remain trained, On double-knotted shoelaces And reflective linoleum floor.
The relentless ticking of the clock, In classrooms turned bare That keeps time to empty desks, With disjointed words impressed onto wood, But all heavy with intent Ensures the room becomes something more Than the room that time forgot.
And though the windows Look out upon the sprawling grounds That grey, heaving mass of steel and cement That mutated and warped Beyond that pane of glass It did not open more than a sliver To keep the world beyond at bay. That is what they are told.
There is a mural on the wall, In cracked and faded paint Colours that slip painlessly into neutrality. The peeling eyes and rustic smiles, Scrape at the barrier between life and other The closest semblance there is in this place, Until a shrill and inescapable as the bell
The distant laughter of one student Fractures silence into fragments, And leaves them on gymnasiums floors, Polished with pride.