Sunday morning, another Christmas season
lifts itself into the refrigerator sky.
The ground’s belly swells with snow,
birds fly disconsolate around drifting feeders.
So many colors but mostly gray in sashed kimonos.
I cannot control their moods or the way
the sun lashes through the blinds.
My cockatiel tucked in behind bars, sings unbidden.
His heart distended but they are old tunes
his little mind changes a note or two.
Tomorrow, the school will throw open its doors
I will not be there to lift my scepter, as the subjects
scatter in the cold morning light
nor listen to the discordance on the tuba,
or young fingers on the flute
musical attempts that will charge through the air
someone will tell a joke and it will
be swallowed by the clang of the radiator
feet will rush by my old desk to use the bathroom.
I want to gather up my years,
savor like rare syrup
the snap-open-wide of forty little eyes
and feel those sticky eight-year-old hands,
coated with burritos, ice cream.
My cockatiel bangs his beak
against the bars repeats his earlier song.
The moon turns its unlit face
towards me. I miss the-snap-my-fingers-and-it’s-done,
my power over everyone—the cleaners,
crossing guards, custodian, the aides
and my screaming secretaries. I want
all the schemes back,
the choreography of calls, meetings, email
getting over, even the power,
the darker work of my life, all
in the name of the children.