At the Door of the School

At the Door of the School by Nikolay Bogdanov-Belsky (1897),
Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Who am I?

Am I one of the students, my head bowed over my books, not looking up, only intent on myself and what I must see and read and learn?

Who am I?

Am I the old teacher, standing before the blackboard, not even seeing him as he waits patiently in his tattered rags with all he has?

Who am I?

Am I the stern pedant patrolling the hall, who will shoo him away, tell him to come back another day, when he looks more the part?

Or, am I the one who opened the door? Do I stand behind him now, whispering, “Go on in, boy. You belong there, just as you are.”?