This is for all those teachers, of whatever stripe, that have ever held a class spellbound, and more particularly, for those English teachers who have ever read fiction aloud to a class of students. My very last thoughts on retirement, honest.
Casting Spells I have loved casting spells In the gathering gloom of wet November Friday afternoons As yellow lights held us all in a web of careful, bold words. Thirty pairs of eyes wide and gleaming in the dusky, chalk-dusted corners. Thirty breaths held in a cloud of concentration above our heads. Yes, that was worth the whole shebang. But I did not like The Marking, that squatted on my life like a Toad. There will come a time, on a wet November afternoon, when a pile of bruised and scribbled purple books might be the object of my wildest dreams. But not yet. Not for a long, long time. And come September, when Summer’s warmth begins to fail and blistered leaves turn yellow, I will watch the lines of scrubbed children laden with heavy bags, Proceed to school with first day nerves, and think, with sadness and relief, that no bell summons me, To cast the old spells Afresh for them.