A Diversion

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A girl in an oversized jumper and woolen socks

Regards the sea of crumpled up notes in biro scrawl

From islands of textbooks vandalized by students past.

With zero human company and plenty of caffeine

She is surrounded by neon highlighters drained of their color,

Rainbow flashcards, silver wrappers

Empty of dark chocolate.

Her collapsed topknot spills over her face

As she glares into the computer’s glow,

the sporadic cursor mocks her lack of progress.


This is hell.


The temptation for sweet relief-

A spot of procrastination-

Proves too much. She sacrifices promised long hours

Of hard work and doodles notebooks

With crushes’ names and coils of flowers;

She needs to escape her academic prison,

To not dredge up historical dates and the periodical table,

Or memorize algebra formulas and rock formations,

Before her sanity is lost forever.


It’s been so long.


She enters wonderland

Freefalls down the rabbit’s hole of fantasy

Illuminated by her musings and pipedreams.

She revels in the hypnotic glow:

Of the fantastic adventures;

Of explorations of curse tombs,

Forbidden romances in a Baroque chateau,

Or mysteries in London’s streets.

Her tired eyes then drift closed

As she curls up into the luxury of sleep.


Drooling on her pencil case pillow.

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Elaine Mullarkey

About the Author: Elaine Mullarkey

She/Her Wordsmith and bibliophile that does a spot of writing every now and again.

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