Sweat glistened on her brow as her heart thumped an untimely rhythm. Could the students hear it? She wondered to herself.
“Today we will begin English lessons. I expect your to arrive on time, take your seat as quickly as possible, and begin work on the assignment given. For today’s lesson, you will listen to an article and answer questions while I interview each one of you personally. I need to find out how much English you can speak and understand. Any questions?” the firm voice carried only a hint of her compassion. “Yes, Louise?”
“Can I go to the W.C.?”
“No, you will only be allowed out under…”
Jars-tall ones, round ones, short ones, thin ones sat lined in neat rows. Each chair held the pot like a forsaken ornament.
“Mrs. Anna? I asked you if could go to the bathroom?”
“Yes, I’m sorry Louise. You may go this time, but I will only allow you one time per semester. Please begin work on the assignment on your desk.”
Clay-earthen clay jars filled her sight. Cracks, slits, and gaping holes covered each jar.
“Yes, Ralph, did you have a question?”
“Ummm…how do I write the past tense of did?”
“Did is in the past tense.” An sigh of exasperation escaped her lips. “I will come to your desk to help you.”’
Empty-dark emptiness permeated each cavernous jar. A bottomless pit held less darkness.
“James, you will be the first to have your interview. Please join me in the next room.”
“All right class. You did well on today’s assignment. Please read the next article on living in the street for your homework. We will discuss it in class on Friday.”
Mirror-an image of light reflected. Her face on a jar of clay. The light to be poured out.
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