S.F Wright

S.F. Wright lives and teaches in New Jersey. His work has appeared in Hobart, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, and Elm Leaves Journal, among other places. His short story collection, The English Teacher, is forthcoming from Cerasus Poetry, and his website is sfwrightwriter.com.

SEAN

He was transferred into my class
A week after the first day
Because of a schedule conflict.

Eyes bloodshot,
He’d sit in his desk
And lean his head
Against the wall,
As if his head
Were about
To detach
From his body.

Or
He’d rest his head in his arms,
Asleep,
Or pretending to be.

I spoke to him
Nicely,
Encouragingly.
Not getting any response,
I notified his guidance counselor.

He continued sleeping,
And staring into space;
His guidance counselor
Never got back to me.

Sometimes
When I’d catch him
Looking around,
I’d say, “Look who’s up!”
Or,
“He has a pulse!”
I’d feel malicious;
His classmates would
Smile uneasily;
He hardly noticed.

His flunking
Was as inevitable
As day’s
Becoming night;
And, after failing,
He was moved into
“Night school,”
Where my district
Puts hopeless cases.

The class didn’t
Notice his absence;
My snide comments
Ceased,
I was less angry.

He’s one
I’ll forget;
Though
If I ever see him,
I’d like to ask
How someone like that
Survives.

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