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Archive for April, 2013

Grade Five. I am stronger than I’ve ever been.
I am quick and smart. I love math.
I wear bright orange (even though it clashed with my short red hair).
I hold a calculator up and yell “Yippee”
To discover how the world works
……………..through the abstract.
……………..through numbers.

……………..

Grade Eight. I am quiet and confused
Confused(, Why am I feeling so lifeless, so cardboard?).
All the girls are made of cardboard.
The math teacher pours water over them.
……………..Making them wilt.
……………..Making them mush.
……………..Losing all excitement for the future they could have had.
……………..Losing all dreams.

The boys he waters (like the water dripping off the swimwuit models of the only Sports Illustrated that he’s not allowed to plaster on the wall of his classroom).
The boys he waters, with drops of knowledge.
……………..that make them grow.
……………..that make them dream.

The girls he pours on so their cardboard selves slump, into a lack of dreams.
……………..(The Lack of Dreams.)

[He does not desire this.
……………..(Or does he?)
The lack of dreams that they are supposed to embody.
……………..(supposed to?)

(Embody, whose body?) The only bodies they ever had were owned by others, controlled by others, like this man
This Gardener of Boys and Pulperizer of Girls]

……………..

Grade Ten. Their bodies are not their own just like their dreams. (My body is not my own just like my dreams.)
Their dreams of being a good girlfriend, a writer, a mother, an assistant.
Never a scientist, an astronaut, an owner.
They have finished their transformation to cardboard cutouts.

The boys raise their hands.
The girls sit unmoving. Cardboard cutouts cannot raise their hands.
……………..Not unless someone meant them to raise their hands.

The boys answer the questions.
The girls are silent. Cardboard mouths cannot speak out.
……………..Not unless someone meant them to.

The boys dream.
The girls are empty, for cardboard cutouts cannot dream.
……………..Not unless someone meant them to.

……………..

Mr. ——,
Did you ever mean to make hands that could not be raised, mouths that could not speak?
Did you ever mean to make girls that could not dream?

(You must have.)

(You must have.)

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