King Wise
An eight line acrostic, humour poem; pl read Author Notes
Pays: 8 points.
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 Category:  General Fiction
  Posted: December 10, 2020      Views: 24

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I'm Judy.
I love to write.
I teach high school choir to the most amazing students in the world
I have three extremely successful children
One is a lawyer
One is a professional Athlete (UFC)
One is an Auto Mechanic.
I h - more...

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Making it through these hard times
"Darkest before Dawn" by jusylee72

Typical Texas December weather, winter in the morning, spring midday, not quite summer in the afternoon. The weatherman predicted morning rain, as usual he was wrong. I felt a slight mist in the air though it did little to assuage the brown grass of my front yard. The drought, now 100 days long, dampened my thoughts and did little to sooth my soul.

My husband started my car 15 minutes before I left the house so the small amount of frost on the windows would melt. The oil fields furloughed him the last three months. Furloughed was a fancy way of saying he wasn't getting paid. We had to send his company health insurance money. Our savings were depleting almost as fast as his depression was growing. He rarely got dressed in the mornings. His unshaven face was gray. He did put on slippers and opened the gate for me when I left each day. By afternoon I would be driving home with the windows open yet now the temperature on my dash read 33 degrees. I turned on the radio. Usually I listen to talk radio but today I was tired of hearing about the number of people dying in the world. I switched to a station playing Christmas Carols just as "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" finished it last few notes.

How long had it been now? Nine months since last March when teachers like me went home for spring break and didn't return until September this year. Now we sat in classrooms teaching 4 students in masks while the rest were on a zoom call.

"Come on Judy, get on with it." The ultimate optimist in me began questioning my mood. "You have enough to eat. The mortgage is paid. Your children are grown and managing their lives. You still have a job." It didn't working. The old "Children are starving in China" argument still didn't make me want to eat Brussel sprouts.

I canceled my yearly trip to see my daughter in Minnesota the night before. Mandy called explaining they just didn't think it was wise now that they were in lockdown. I pretended to understand and played it off as logical. I waited till I got off the phone to shed a few tears. My grandchildren were another year older. I missed them.

"Enough," I yelled out loud. "It's always darkest before the dawn."

"Great," I sighed sarcastically. "Now I'm thinking in cliches."

The four masked students in my first period sat 6 feet apart, each with their phone or computer ready to join my zoom call with the others. We were reviewing for midterms.

"Get out your vocabulary lists and let's practice making sentences using the words."

Jimmy Peters spoke up first. "Miss, you don't seem yourself today. Are you mad at us?"

"Oh, no." I started to stumble on my words. "I'm just letting the world get me a little down. I'll get better." Jimmy was the definition of class clown.

"Want to hear a joke?"

"Jimmy, is it school appropriate?

"Sure. Why is production down at Santa's Workshop?"

Silent pause in the zoom call.

"Because his workers had to elf isolate?"

Groans and some laughter. I had to smile at the spirit of this child.

"I've got more. Why did Mary and Joseph miss their meeting? Because there was no zoom at the inn."

The students joined in with hilarious corny jokes. Soon we were all smiling and making the artificial world of zoom come alive while connecting with each other. We never did get to vocabulary that day.

Later I left the building in a brighter mood. However, the sky was darker. Full, dark rain clouds covered the sun. Maybe the weather man was right after all. His timing was just a little off. I opened my car door just as the first raindrops fell, lightly at first, then in abundance. I took off my mask and smelled the freshness of the earth.

As the darkness fell over the earth that night, I knew the dawn would come again.

Author Notes
This is a fictitious story, but I do teach and it is often that the students are the ones who teach me the most.
Pays one point and 2 member cents. Artwork by Lilibug6 at

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