The only sounds in the room are
pages flipping, keyboards clicking,
air blowing from the ceiling vents
The tension thickens as the time set to begin passes
I’m thankful that for me the tension
is a 25-year-old memory
and it didn’t involve the stress of software not launching
or computers not working
We had plenty of pens in case one ran dry
I don’t envy these tech-driven
special accommodation applicants
What good is extra time if your tech fails?
I’m surprised, though, given this is an exam of the law
with futures hanging in the balance
to see compassion and mercy
The ones without tech problems
willing to delay five minutes, and then ten
to not leave a fellow applicant behind
That’s what I would want if it was me one says
This bodes well for the future of this once-noble profession
It bodes well, indeed, considering
it’s already been a long day for them all
And even if they don’t pass this test
they’ve got the Golden Rule down pat
Perhaps nobility still reigns
Has it really been two hours
with two and a half more to go?
Maybe I do envy them, though they put in five hours
before I arrived to take the second monitoring shift,
because for them the time is flying
For me it’s slower than molasses in January
Why, oh, why did I forget my headphones?
Why is there no mockingbird to sing a cheerful song?
The near-silence is suffocating for this extrovert
Why do I agree to do this year after year?
I watch the second hand on the analog wall clock
ticking, ticking noiselessly
one second at a time just as it’s supposed to
Surely it’s moving backwards when I look away
like the weeping angels who move closer
ready to steal all the moments of your life if you blink
Did I just blink?
I wrote this second poem in response to the Tuesday prompt at dVerse Poets Pub while monitoring 4 bar exam applicants.