Allison Bartholmey – The Stuff of Dreams – Pandemic

The Stuff of Dreams
by Allison Bartholmey

In front of my classroom that isn’t my classroom
Here in my school that isn’t my school

Lessons carefully planned out long ago
cannot be called to mind
and I click each one of my thirty-seven tabs in turn
hoping the next one will be the one I want to show.

My students say nothing, as I flounder here on my couch. 
They understand, and also
we are all quietly occupied with a secret shame
that this is our fault.
Sheepish, we all remember a time we have dreamed 
that school was cancelled
and we could stay home in our pajama pants. 

Somehow, this is not quite what we had in mind.

And it is a tender thing that we choose to appear
as a box of pixels on the other’s screen
a silent admission 
that we need each other after all. 


Allison Bartholmey is in her tenth year of teaching, which she greatly prefers in-person. She loves to read and play piano.