A boy’s report card might wind up
crumpled in a pocket, barely surviving
the wash cycle and the dryer, the falling
apart bits of paper telling a story ripe
with success and failure, detailed assessments
of day-to-day engagement with rules,
expectations, ambitions, and playing nice.
Did he learn anything beyond how
to hide the truth long enough for its
edges to crumble, ink to run, pages
to stick together, so that, without any
certainty, we wait for the next one?
Charissa Menefee teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Environment at Iowa State University. WHEN I STOPPED COUNTING: POEMS is published by Finishing Line Press, and her poetry can also be found in ADANNA, TERRENE, POETRY SOUTH, DRAGON POET REVIEW, TWYCKENHAM NOTES, THE PADDOCK REVIEW, and other journals.
Image via History in HD.