Today I gave up English Lit. I cried. I cried all through break, part of the way through physics, then teared up again when I went to thank my other English teacher. In my free period (sorry! Independent study period) I wrote an ode. An actual ode. Weird rhyme scheme and iambic pentameter (of a sort) and everything! I’m actually pretty proud of it, although I’m not quite so bitter as the poem makes me out to be. Mainly disappointed and very, very upset if I’m being honest. Of course, it has only now struck me that I should have submitted at least one essay written in red ink using my dipper pen.

Ode to an English Deadline

Though the years may pass, and my pen run dry,
As the path I have chosen, twists and turns,
For the steady road, I forsake the sky,
I solemnly swear: I will remember.
I will remember how I used to love,
The smooth plastic of the tool of my choice,
The blue flood flowing out across the page,
Words pouring out, how the sound of my voice,
In my heart, echoes, escaped from the cage,
Of science—adored, yet never enough.

As the sun rises, and the moon follows,
Chasing Apollo’s forbidden fires,
So will the one road seem pale and hollow,
Next to the one of my oldest desires.
Best friend, best foe, best-loved for the longest,
Of all I have fought, against and besides,
On the fields of white paper, stark lines drawn,
Words are advancing, and a lone voice cries,
Keep fighting! The deadline is yet to come!
And so I keep writing—always strongest.

Yes. I will remember those victories,
Those hard-fought battles which will not return,
Other than as beloved memories,
Of hard work, missed deadlines at every turn.
The work complete—the deadline, far away,
Creeping closer until it’s been and gone,
And the work—essays lovingly crafted,
Left at home, still on the desk, an icon,
Of all that should have been—broken-hearted,
I lay down my sword at the end of the day.

No more essays, or debates; my prison,
Of facts and figures and of yes or no,
And nothing in-between. Of each lesson,
A choice of wrong or right, not maybe so.
Science, numbers, loved dearly, not enough,
For me to not miss the blurred lines of words,
The formation of meaning from a blunder,
As the time comes, choices; cries unheard
I will remember these things, and wonder,
Will it always hurt so much; be so rough?

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