A FEBRUARY TESTING
Distant voices through a window
Steamed up with thirty nervous breaths
And the thunder of a pencil dropped
Like a twig falling in a pond
The silence is choking, a penalty
Awaits the boy who dares call
His friends for help. You pass or fail alone.
clock ticks are a measure of
the time left to prove your worth
The pens scratch in controlled fever
As the white paper yawns before
And the ink is squeezed unwillingly
From a pen tip wet with sweat.
The exam drowns everything for a moment
You must pass the testing.
Fifty years on another test
May depend more or less
On the way you handle this stress
But far off horizons cannot intrude
At the moment in youth when
The date of Napoleon’s death is crucial
Time crawls for you, races for another.
You are the sole oarsman in this
boat: which is all
Your life -