Educational Services, East Campus, Room 6

The shark with a broken tail
hangs from the ceiling
next to the crab with only one claw.

The students are also broken—
some have twisted bodies
and shuffle sideways

through the narrow hallways of life;
others are like the shark
that will bite but cannot swim.

The teachers are torn
like chum in the open sea,
so the children can feed.

Some will be food for others.
Few will survive unscarred.

Eric Blanchard’s poetry has been published in numerous literary journals and reviews, both on-line and in print, including Autumn Sky PoetryRust and MothBorderlands: Texas Poetry ReviewPudding MagazineAmarillo BayTurbulenceLiterary Orphans, and Poetry Quarterly. He currently lives and writes in Dayton, Ohio.