I watch them.
These are my boys
and they are the dregs,
the bottom of the barrel,
those who would sooner be forgotten.
Truly, it can be a challenge
to find something redeeming…
To call them rough around the edges
would be to ignore the fact
that they are rough all the way through.
If we call them a mite lacking in refinement,
so too, should we call oil bleeding out of the ground and sticking to our shoes.
But they are my boys
and I watch them.
Pencils desperately bubbling, erasing, bubbling, erasing, bubbling erasing
until it does not matter
whether they are right or wrong
because the machines will not possibly discriminate
between erasures and markings, by the time they are through.
I can see by their wild eyes
how all my instructions
how all their work
is leaking out the deadly-sharp tips
of the yellow number 2 pencils.
I look over at the other student in my class.
He is not officially enrolled. And he is invisible.
He was expelled from the MacArthur School for forms of fair of Accountabality.
My secret student is not a gang member, an almost-grown crack baby, or a juvenile deliqnuent.
He is an anthromoprhism, a personification.
His problems are legion.
I can only hope that he has a brother, a former classmate, somebody, anybody
will graduate the school he’s been expelled from
And I can only pray
that then this will all make sense.