Kindergarten by Matthew Murrey


“It’s boring, boring,
boring. I hate school,”
he said near tears
on the way over in the car.

Big hand, small hand:
I walked him to class,
then turned my back
and left, though he begged
in a raspy whisper—
chin and lips quivering,
eyes brimming and blinking,
“Stay longer—please
don’t leave, please.”

Like a doctor who lost
his patient, or a priest
who lost his faith,
I headed off to my job.

Before lunch at work
I was thinking of angels;
“Pity us,” I whispered
as if there were pity,
as if there were angels.


Matthew Murrey’s poems have been in One Art and other journals. Poems have recently appeared in The Shore, Whale Road Review, and EcoTheo Review. He’s an NEA Fellowship recipient, and his collection, Bulletproof, was published in 2019 by Jacar Press. He was a public school librarian for over twenty years and lives in Urbana, Illinois. His website is at and he is still on Twitter @mytwords.