Clunk………Clickety, rattle ,rattle
The usually tiny noise my pencil makes
Sounds like an explosion of din from my desk
Not one word is uttered
But a hundred necks shuffle around to see
To see who has put their pencil down
They couldn’t be finished…
Maybe they’re stuck!
You can hear the tension in the collars of a hundred school shirts
Stare at the page, can I write more?
I don’t even know what I don’t know
So I touch the yellow pencil with my fingertips
Just enough pressure for one little roll, one tiny obsolete click.
In this room, this echoey space with its ridiculously high ceiling
I want to look up at it but the tilting of my head and the angles of the beams
It dizzies me , so I bring my attention back to the yellow pencil
This carrier of my thoughts and conveyer of my knowledge
Here in these sheets of paper,
Is this really where my future lies,
Is this it?
I feel the heat on my back as my pulse takes up my chest
Until all I can feel is heartbeat and heat, sickening heat
In a nervous pinch I grab that yellow pencil
I am going to give it one more shot
Surely I can do more
Lowering the graphite to the paper
I spur myself on
‘Pencils down please’
No, what, after all that?
The silence is decimated.
A hundred chairs , that’s four hundred chair legs,
Scrape and screech on the gymnasium floor
and two hundred legs stampede towards the door
I shuffle in a shell-shocked silence ,
Only following a sliver of sunlight that leads to the corridor.
The voices ask the same question over and over.
The same question I am asking myself.
How do you think you did?
Oh god, do I want to answer that , even silently to myself?
No…no I don’t
Its done now.
I went in I gave it my best and that’s it.
Now its summer,
Stuff it, its summer.
Its fine , its better than fine
How can one little yellow pencil cause so much doubt?
When doubt wasn’t an issue before.
Well its done now,
so it doesn’t matter
I am free, free from this warren of stress.
Free for one glorious amazing summer.
So why is it raining?
Who cares, its still better than doing exams.