Almost Summer

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Last days on an isolated island,

Hours spent making messy notes

Marked in neon yellow highlighter,

Scribbled in blue brio, hunched over,

Composing sleep-deprived ramblings

In hopes of retaining every droplet

Of knowledge with temples troubling,

Fingertips stained, wet beads of sweat

Running down strained backs.


The usual spot, a desk of iron legs.

Scrawled in doodled hearts,

Written declarations of young love,

The odd drawing of a dick,

Rude messages of bullies’ past.


Sometimes echoes of girlish gossip

From the hall outside, reverberate

Off lockers, create a distant hum,

Akin to that of twittering birds,

Often interrupts wandering minds

As bells signal classes to a close

And pencils tap-dance in thought.


Girls share whispers, knowing looks,

Hidden texts, post-it notes with secrets

Behind hills of heavy old textbooks,

Shrouded from the teacher’s preying eyes.


Some get so bored they give

Themselves a Tippex manicure,

The sharp smell cuts through blends of

Cheap body spray and yeasty fake tan.


Dust motes float in the warm afternoon glow

Pouring from large windows mocking

Students with glimpses of freedom,

Of the outside world calling,

While walled in by bricks.


The first tang of peppermint bursts in

One’s mouth from illegal gum

Smuggled in, a bit of sweet relief.


Often stared up at the clock,

Like a deity, praying for Time’s

Kindness, wishing for our release.

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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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