Harbinger of Things to Come


school doors at the end of the day! 001

There she was // big as life standing before us;
Pasted smile stretch under bright red lipstick.
What she said next was a clear harbinger
Of pending storms coming in with a rush.

“I know something about each one of you!”
“I plan to be around for a long time;
I don’t know about all the rest of you!”
Three bombshell statements from her and we knew…

Life under this school principal brought chains.
Vindictive // demanding //she made life hard;
We complained and fussed with no success;
Nothing remained the same // everything changed.

Half of us left // the rest weathered the storm;
She stayed a few years and then she was gone.


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

54 thoughts on “Harbinger of Things to Come

  1. Sometimes you know right from the start. I think we’ve all been there. Though they are often the people who move on – to better things, let down by the shoddy team in this shabby place. then we can all sigh in relief and get on with doing our jobs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think Sister Floriana (minus the red lipstick) was related to her! The nun who we had in 5th grade….who thought we were such a terrible class that she got herself moved up to 6th grade…..and at the end of that year she still thought we were a terrible class and had herself moved up to 7th grade…..and at the end of that year……my mother moved me to public school!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so vivid, Dwight. My husband was a math teacher for 37 years in the same school. Every few years, there would be a new superintendent who would decide the school district had to change. I don’t think he ever had anyone who point blank said things like this, but he did have one supervisor who made his life difficult for a year or two.

    Liked by 1 person

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