the teacher was asked one day
out of nowhere
what happiness was.
flummoxed, Miss Bailey
said stuffily (flailing)
it was a matter of individual truth.

but Miss, pried the students,
sensing discomfort
what does it feel like,
how do you know?

Miss Bailey, agnostic
had not considered the question
(never the right place or time).
she turned back to her blackboard
and gave clear firm instruction
derived from textbooks,
and approved curriculum.