No Chance Encounter, This

No Chance Encounter, This

The hall seethed.
Movement.
Noise.
Teenagers herded
between classes.

He stepped in front of me,
an adult out of place,
white shirt and tie.

Like us, he had two eyes,
but one,
unmoving,
stared sightless
over my shoulder.

His good eye,
working for two,
eyed mine.

He minced no words.
"I hear you can write."

He might as well
have accused
me of breathing.

We all had been taught
the ancient symbols of
the alphabet,
the letters,
their shape,
their sounds,
the possible combinations.

We’d learned together—

See Jane run.
See Spot jump.
See Bob climb.

Ten years had passed
in the turning of a page.

Nouns. Verbs. Sentences.

We all could write.

I'd told no one
I treasured the books.
Only Mother knew.
She'd confiscated
the flashlight
more than once.

"My name is O'Sammon.
I teach the journalism elective.
I'd like you to sign up.
I think you'll be good at it."

He'd singled me out of the herd.

Someone had ratted me out.

I did.
I was.

A teacher made all the difference
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

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