Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Monday, April 6, 2009

Schooling
















Schooling


I liked poetry even back then, but
it was hard to come by. I had to settle
for "The Marine Corps Hymn" and didn't
know where Tripoli was. I disliked

the tedium of projects and workbooks
and fell so far behind in one workbook,
I entered a different time-continuum.
When the teacher read to us,

my mind wandered to its own stories.
Recess provided a chance to use
the imagination. Math was okay.
Numbers nested up like ants,

and who can resist shapes?
They don't call it "grammar school"
anymore. They say "K through 12,"
mixing letters and numbers.

I can say for sure what school
taught me: for example, South
America exports coffee, and
nine times nine is eighty-one.

Who we are is what we learned.
Can we say that? Yes, we can.
May we? Sure. Should we?
Debatable. Schooling.


Copyright 2009 Hans Ostrom
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