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The Bookbag

by Angela Nuzzo

I have this ache in my shoulder,
this dull throb that comes and goes.
It sneaks up on me
when I've been walking,
arms swinging, muscles relaxed.
I blame it on the bookbag
that I carried all through college,
even back to highschool
could have been the beginning of it all.
Twenty pounds of textbooks -
Algebra, Chemistry, Spanish -
years of concentrated weight
and knowledge that I retain little of.
I was a good student, rarely absent,
paid attention in class.
Could have been the teacher's pet -
if only I had said a single word.
I was shy – and they required participation.
I had classroom friends,
but never went to games or parties.
I wasn't there to socialize.
I had a reason for being in those halls -
it was to learn and then get out.
Year to year, the bag got heavier,
the hours studying longer, longer.
Report cards remained monotonous,
except for a few hiccups
in times of French, Greece, and death.
I remember certain things from back then,
but none of them come from books.
If I had been less quiet, taken part in the life
that was stirring all around me,
maybe I'd have more to show for those years
than a bum shoulder,
Hola and... Adios.


Posted on 02/22/2014
Copyright © 2023 Angela Nuzzo

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 02/22/14 at 06:30 PM

Hmmmm sad commentary on college studies vs "living". Very well expressed.

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