Shackles

Oh dear. It’s getting late, and I have been grading or reading all day. The prompt is a two-fer: Write a Free/Not Free Poem.

I wear these papers like shackles,
dragging the ankles of my brain
into a constant state of bondage.

Teachers develop a seventh sense,
an awareness, always, of the piles
that wait in a bag or on a table,

so even when I walk in the sunlight
or finish the novel I have been reading,
the shackles of inadequacy hold me down.