Open Door Policy
by Shahé Mankerian
I locked the door and placed
my palm on the poster, Fight
Evil with Poetry, held by magnets
of marginalized finger puppets.
I closed my eyes and heard
wily ghosts of bygone children
recite haikus, pitter patter of feet
in the empty hallways,
and a distant scuffle in front
of the water fountain. A forgotten
plate of hummus leaked oil
on the word processor.
The AC unit hummed for no one.
If I had decided to close this door
in February, a child from blue
class might’ve assumed I was dead.
Maybe he went to heaven, drank
coffee, and started a new school.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Poet Shahé Mankerian is the principal of St. Gregory Hovsepian School in Pasadena, California. His manuscript, History of Forgetfulness, has been a finalist at the Bibby First Book Competition, the Crab Orchard Poetry Open Competition, the