Monday, September 06, 2010

The Night Before School Start
based on the original Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore
or Henry Livingston
with my apologies

'Twas the night before school starts, when all through the building

Teachers were scurrying, all in the halls;

The classrooms were decorated, new posters all hung with care,

In knowing that the students soon would be there;

The children were nestled at home in their beds,

While visions of school books danced in their heads;

And me in my cutoffs, and old Packer shirt,

Had one day left to walk around not in a skirt,

When over in the office there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the desk to see what was the matter.

Away to the doorway I flew like a flash,

Ran down the hall and into the room.

The copier was spewing papers below

Giving the look of a paper volcano ablow,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But another eager teacher with dust on her chin,

Arm full of copies, stapler and pens,

I knew in a moment how harried she was.

More rapid than eagles her feet carried her in,

And she shouted, and swore softly, and called the copier a name;

"Now, you stupid machine can’t you just do it right!

On both sides! on one side! Now please do colate!

Make the copies now! Make them, please do it for me!

Don’t jam up the paper, don’t wrinkle it so!"

As teachers will do when they know time is short,

She expertly dismantled and got out of the pickle,

So back to her classroom with copies all made,

And me back to mine to finish today.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard in the hall

The slamming and bamming of each locker door.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the hall the secretary came with a bound.

She was dressed for school, from her head to her foot,

And her clothes were all tarnished with toner and chalk;

A bundle of books she had flung on her back,

And she looked like a peddler just opening her pack.

Her eyes -- how they twinkled! her dimples how merry!

Her cheeks were like roses, her nose like a cherry!

Her feet were scurrying as she carried her load,

Delivering her goods to classrooms along;

The stack of her mail perched loosely on top,

As she made her way down the hall;

She had a determined face and no-nonsense grin,

That looked plastered on with permanent pen.

Tossing and throwing books here and there,

And I laughed when I saw her, in spite of myself;

A wink of her eye and a twist of her head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

She spoke not a word, but went straight to her office,

And filled all the mailboxes; then turned with a jerk,

And laying her finger aside of her nose,

And giving a nod, rang the school bell just once;

She sat at her desk, and surveyed her domain,

Knowing tomorrow everything will change.

But I heard her exclaim, as I walked out of there,

"Happy SCHOOL YEAR to all, and to all a good night."

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