Mr. Andolini

This past week was the first week of school for my kids, so I thought I’d post a poem I wrote about a high school memory: “Mr. Andolini.”

I often wonder why certain things stick with us. I wrote “Mr. Andolini” about 15 years after the events occurred. All those years later, the memory still carried an emotional force that made me want to write about it. Even now, I ask myself why this impacted me so much that my brain rewired itself and made neural connections to preserve it. Whatever the reason, it has shaped me in some small way.

“Mr. Andolini” was part of my first collection of poems, The Wind and the Shadows.

Mr. Andolini

At first glance,
he was an Italian stereotype:
his olive face
oiled black hair
that slumped over his head
like a mob hit.

But he had 
none of the bravado
you’d expect
from a Mafioso Don.

He wore
a three-piece suit with a tie—
for a high school math sub.
But the entire suit
was wrinkled;
the man looked wadded up
and tossed.

In no time,
the class was a frenzy
of chatter and cackling.

Mr. Andolini’s voice
halted through
a couple theorems,
then went staccato
like an old man
stamping his feet
at a pack of dogs.

About then,
something sailed past my head,
bounced off Mr. Andolini’s chest,
and came to rest
near my feet:
a balled up 
sheet of paper.

I looked up at Mr. Andolini
just in time to see him
crumpling into the teacher’s chair,
hands over his face.

Then my eyes returned
to the paper,
which I considered for awhile
but felt reluctant
to throw

Published by mrteague

Teague McKamey lives in Washington state with his wife and two children. Teague’s poetry has appeared in several journals and in self-published books. He blogs at and In all areas of life, Teague desires that Christ may be magnified in his body (Php. 1:20).

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