Access Denied

Sitting in the exam hall,
Staring blankly down at the papers,
The faces of almost a hundred students.
Their minds linked to an overhead machine that
Sputters, coughs, and emanates smoke.
It, in turn, is connected to the clouds,
This instrumental machine,
This firewall.

Looking closer,
Comparing types of wires to faces,
From this seemingly random gathering of students,
Clear and defined groups emerge.

There are those whose IP addresses exist unblocked,
And to decode the knowledge they have accessed,
The cloud bestows upon them
Their unique decryption keys.
Some hold all the answers,
Others, only a few.

Then there are those,
Whose papers are marked with educated guesses.
In their struggle to bypass the firewall,
They have forgotten the key.
Staring blankly at the encrypted data,
So close and yet, inaccessible.

Expanding one’s sight,
To the back of the hall,
Confounded, perplexed, disbelieving faces,
They have been blocked off from the knowledge,
No IP, no key,
Access denied.


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