The Problem with School
My son’s friend likes Shakespeare
but hates school. Emmett’s a rough neck,
a red neck, a trampoline-jumping,
He’s read Hamlet and Macbeth.
Thinks they’re cool. But damnéd
Ds adorn his report card
like spells on the breath of witches
or stubborn spots on a lady’s hands.
So when their teacher assigns a paper
to discuss a book
the students have never read,
Emmett picks Hamlet.
“But you already read that,”
my son with his ethics in tow
and clever 4.0 says.
“I know,” Emmett says, his brilliant
method burning through the mask
of his matter-of-fact madness.
“And she’d never believe it.”
Hurricane Ike swept through Ohio like a pushy relative
elbowing everyone as he proclaimed his politics.
A whole lot of hot air. Blowing hard.
A storm with no reward of rain.
In the orchard next door, apples
shook from their branches in heaps
of red and green.
A sudden harvest, profuse with violence.
My kids helped the neighbors bag the fruit
eager to risk the 70 mph wind ripping
siding from houses, peeling
shingles from roofs like skin.
My sprained ankle held me back.
I watched from my window as the empty
tongue of the tempest grew loud
raging against the rescuers, bare-handed and brave.
—Julie L. Moore, Cedarville, OH