Friday Poetry: "The End of the World"

Friday is here without fail! Something interesting happened today at school; I was sitting in art class, when suddenly (and without any prior warning whatsoever) the power went out. We later learned that a fuse had blown in the school's main electrical grid; they had to call in engineers, but in the meantime we were left sitting in the dark for about an hour. A rather unfortunate thing, especially when one is in an art classroom and some sort of light source is necessary to see the sketch that one is working on.

However! The good news is that no one was doing much work anyway. In fact, I wrote a poem today about just exactly what we were doing instead. I may have taken a few liberties here and there—but all in all this is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. :) (And no, I didn’t have too much fun writing this! Why are you looking at me like that?)

The End of the World

so, honey, what did you learn
at school today?

well, mother, today I learned
what happens when the world ends.

silence.
perplexed
speculating
has-she-finally-gone-round-the-bend
I-knew-all-that-writing-wasn’t-good-for-her
what-am-I-going-to-tell-her-father
sort of silence.

come again?

so I clear my throat and tell her.

it happened
suddenly.

one moment,
sitting in art class
bare feet, shoes arranged
in meticulous nonchalance in front of us
sketchpads open, attempting to capture
the effortless elegance of sprawled shoelaces
and dirt-caked rubber soles
in shades of charcoal black and paper white

door open to let out the
incorrigible odour of deodorant and feet
crooning melodies wafting from the radio
and I, head down, sketching my shoes
listening to heated arguments echo through the room
on global warming, politics,
and whether Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez
really should have gotten back together

then,
one tick of the clock—

pitch black.

radio silenced.

pencils frozen, hovering
inches above paper.

weak sunlight, still filtering through
the open door,
trying valiantly to replace the comfort of
artificial LED lights.

one endless moment of shock,
then uproar.

screams, loud and terrified:
we’re all gonna die!
terrorists are here!
the world is ending!
I really think it was the last one
that did it;
people throwing down sketchbooks
hurling pencils recklessly into the stratosphere
shrieking final confessions to the winds
and running, barefoot, out to die
under the open sky

half-crazed people from other classrooms
did not exactly help the chaos;
nor did the airplane
the only thing marring the perfect blue
of a kite-flying-bubble-blowing summer sky
because, of course,
it could not have been an innocent passenger jet
but a group of terrorists come to kill us all

the art teacher, I believe,
was still attempting to round up
some semblance of order—
a rather difficult thing to do
when the end of the world is commencing
but a courageous effort nonetheless

and I, still in the dark art classroom
a bubble of pristine serenity
amongst the tumbling rumbling
avalanche of pandemonium surrounding me
sketching my shoes
and listening to the end of the world

or, to put it a different way—
a power outage.