Poetry – Graduation Day – Jonathan Shipley

Illustration by the amazing @LifeOfHedge

Graduation Day

It’s the last day of school
and the celebration is silence 
– empty parking lots
and bells that don’t ring
and classroom windows
that need dusting and a library 
silent as it ever was.

My kid will sleep in, stumble
out this afternoon 
barely say good morning 
stumble back to his room
with a bowl of cold cereal
or maybe Chef Boyardee.
And that’ll be the celebration.

I wish we had never failed them.
A wish does nothing.
In this time of forever 
the same, what are we all 
graduating into? I want 
to teach him something,
anything, about resilience,
the human spirit, however
small. Maybe I’ll bake a cake now.

Jonathan Shipley is a freelance writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. His work has appeared in such publications as the Los Angeles Times, National Parks Magazine, and Meatpaper. Jonathan is married and lives with one of his children which has been as good as it can be, given the situation. That said, he has another child living in Seattle and not being able to see her has hurt.

Contact Jonathan on Twitter and Instagram

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