The Room

I found myself in the middle of a room
I barely recognized, a whiteboard
with no lesson on it, walls
wanting for color. The hands of the clock

above the door had been removed.
And my friends had left their seats
in long ordinary rows, in rows

they’d never in their lives leave them in.
They must be waiting in the wings,
cheering me on—I could sense it.

All I had to do was pick up the marker
and draw what I remembered

of the room when the room was full.
Instead I stood there, scrubbing,

until there was no board, no boy.

My hand went up, my hand went down.

Copyright © 2016 by Will Schutt. This poem originally appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books. Used with the permission of the poet.