In the afternoons I daydream while I clean houses
between morning classes and evening work.
While I clean the windows and vacuum
I pretend the house is mine,
that I own something beautiful,
the prize for all my effort.
College is freedom
from cliques and old pain.
When I walk toward Academic Hall
I drink in the loveliness of blooming campus trees.
As the petals rain down
the nagging dissatisfaction suddenly stirs.
With scholarships I’m set to graduate
with money in the bank,
but my liberal arts classes chafe with worldliness.
The history professor tells lewd stories,
the foreign language professor shows porn,
and one teacher led a shouting match
against Christianity last semester.
Shocked, I said nothing
and burned with shame.
But at the end of class
I stopped the one boy who spoke up,
praising his courage.
He took my hand in his,
thanking me, and his touch
surprised me with its gentleness.
Afraid of more conflict,
I skipped the last two weeks
except for the final exam.
I never saw that boy again.
No matter how hard I ask, seek, and knock
loneliness still haunts.
I dust the family photos,
pretending the handsome dark-haired son is my date,
and we’re going out for pizza tonight.
I pretend he values my beliefs.
He won’t laugh at me
when I tell him I walked out
of an offensive class again.
I hope he will advise
whether it’s wise to stay