The Old Teacher
She smelled of sour plums and pressed flowers;
sweat beads form like dew on her forehead;
with a white laced hanky, she would wipe them
off every time before they start to roll;
she walked along the rows of seated children,
her eyes scanning the horizon of the mischievous
heads bowing over their opened texts as they read.
Twenty years later, she’s sitting in a train;
her black hair is now a tangle of gray curls;
it’s still the same eyes, it’s still the same
pit bull jaws, still the same rosewater
perfume; one wonders if her knobby hands
are still dangerous with a wooden ruler.