For the Girl Who Worked in Leonard Hall

You turn the knob on the metal heater with the broken
given to you because the winter
came through the cracks in the windows.
It reminded you of your great grandma’s house.

Graduate English office
Room 111
Maggie, the secretary, would tell you about her
husband’s bees
And the new book that she bought on her Kindle.
You ate your lunch at your desk,
And bumped your chair into the printer

every now and then.

You were always on time

even in the snow.

Ph.D. folders are green and red.
Masters are yellow, blue, and maroon.

The ceilings dripped when it rained.
The bathrooms echoed with public pool acoustics like
the hallways.
On the women’s second-floor restroom,
The stalls were a writer’s notebook

Room 205
The gold, mailbox numbers are on the top of the door.

The middle window was always open in September.
Your first English class was in this room.
You sat in the middle seat
when you took Critical Theory.
Then, you sat in the seat in front
of the cute guy in British Lit, the one
who always forgot a pencil.

All of the boxes are packed,
And the professors are moved out.
You lock the office door one last time,
in December,
just before your exam.

You forgot to turn in your key.

Katherine Hughes

Listen to Katherine reading ‘For the Girl Who Worked in Leonard Hall’ (1:47).

Katherine Hughes is a writer and an Adjunct English professor in Florida. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Birmingham. Katherine is a fan of trivia quizzes, baking, and lavender lattes. She has been published in Wingless Dreamer and Aloka Magazine.

© 2020