When the lecture is over,
        when they close their notebooks crammed
                with the ghastly facts of Gettysburg and Waterloo,
        sodden fields covered with numberless dead,
students file out unaware that the real war
                  now commences,

as Departmental meetings shatter into
       armed bands hurling
  mortar rounds of genuine contempt,
            and shrapnel of complete disgust,
     great armies of ego on the march
                  circling warily in the shadows,
preparing for pitched battles on
       the bloody turf of curriculum and courses.

Students, close your books! Put down your pens!
Forget dead centuries past, and just wait an hour!
     Behind that meeting room door, the human
drama unfolds, on the only stage
          there has ever been, where                
betrayal, passion, and envy
           contend, propelling us
   through the actual
                    textbook of life.

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
Contact Bill Schechter