Something’s amiss
because this puzzle is causing me
a great deal of puzzlement
as there’s clearly a piece
I’m missing.

I can’t see it.

Maybe it’s hidden
amongst my puffs of frustration;
or maybe it’s hidden
amongst the fluff of my personality;
my smile and how I look you in the eye
to respect you and treat you like
the young adults that you are.

I trained and I trained hard.
I read books
wrote essays
slept with my eyes wide open
to be able to bear the title


and yet
I wonder what it is
I’m teaching;
who it is
I’m reaching;
if I’m reaching
or whether I have my arms outstretched
to guide you onto the path of discovery.

I’m tempted
to withdraw my hands,
roll them into a fist
and shove them down my throat
for then my cries will be silenced
and I’ll have no reason
to feel like a failure,
for today
the test you set me
hit me hard and
I failed.

© LaYinka Sanni, March 2012


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