Exam Season

1. Students hunch over
Stacks of books, pages of notes and
Pray for memory.

2. Old exam papers
Look for common themes. Are there
Any patterns? Guess.

3. Peering at crisp white
Sheets, ink tattoos miniscule
Grains, looking too close.

4. Exam room sort of
Like a club: exclusive,
Costly, requires ID.

5. Supervisor goes
Over rules we’ve all heard
A dozen times before.

6. Phone goes off? Fine is
One hundred and fifty. You
Should double-check it.

7. Ten minutes reading time.
Expertly scan questions. Good
Or bad? You tell me.

8. Saturday exam?
Efficient yes, but I still
Prefer weekday tests.

9. Clock looms over us
Vaguely menacing, saying
To speed up writing.

10. Scent of pen ink fills
My nose. The ink blots at a
Random place. Time runs thin.

11. Handwriting a mess
Cramped over flawless A4 paper.
(Why are the lines green?)

12. Write faster. Ignore
Pain and tension starting
To form in knuckles.

13. Am I writing too
Much? Or not enough? Just
Keep going – still got time.

14. Does this even make
sense now? (Quick scan; jeez this is
messy) the pressure.

15. Peering too closely.
I can see each grain of the
Page. My eyes hurt now.

16. Supervisor: ten
Minutes remaining. No-one
May leave. Watch the clock.

17. Pens down. Lock fingers,
Stretch. Sit up, joints crack. It
Is satisfying.

18. Collect papers. Soft
thank-you. You may leave. A group
Exodus, two doors.

19. Hand has seized up
Lost feeling in my fingers.
Ten pages in two hours.

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