First Class

First Class, Haibun Poetry

 Haibun Poetry


Rich walks me to room 252, finishing some comment as he opens a steel, fire-rated door. I enter, and he closes that door behind me.

Fifteen Black and Hispanic teens look up. Some dress in worn flannels over T-shirts. Others wear white tank-tops with lots of “bling.” Nearly all of them wear baggy jeans off their hips. The youngest-looking could pass for twenty. Their indifferent eyes measure me as they sit in silence.

I swallow hard. I am their teacher; they wait for me.

No one else is coming.

September morning
Gold chains and fire-rated doors
Glisten in sunlight


Photograph by Ryan McGuire

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Frank J. Tassone

Frank J. Tassone lives in New York City's "back yard" with his wife and son. He fell in love with writing after he wrote his first short story at age 12 and his first poem in high school. He began writing haiku and haibun seriously in the 2000s. His haikai poetry has appeared in Failed Haiku, Cattails, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, Contemporary Haibun, The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Society of America member anthologies. He is a contributing poet for the online literary journal Image Curve, and a performance poet with Rockland Poets. When he's not writing, Frank works as a special education high school teacher in the Bronx. When he's not working or writing, he enjoys time with his family, meditation, hiking, practicing tai chi and geeking out to Star Wars, Marvel Cinema and any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy film and TV worth seeing.

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