Sunday, January 13, 2013

Putting Prose on Pause

This week (or rather, last week), we were asked to write a poem about our topic. I am no poet, but I hope that this piece conveys some of the realities that students in low-income school districts experience and want to express. 

*Disclaimer: This poem is not written from my perspective. It is written from the viewpoint of students who experience education inequality. 

packed with students, rushing to class
(or not)

filled with brightly colored posters
and the smell of whiteboard markers

the ones we take for granted now
but will want to thank later

cover the desks in the back row
documenting the fleeting thoughts of teenage girls

When will you realize?

We have hallways, classrooms, teachers and doodles

But our hallways are dirty
the floors haven't been washed in years
the linoleum is badly cracked

our classrooms are poorly lit
and don't have enough desks to seat our whole class
some kids sit on the floor

our teachers want to teach us
but instead they test us
and then hang their heads in disappointment when we don't do well

our doodles aren't about sports or fashion
they are about the places we work after school
when we should be doing homework or playing ball

my parents tell me "stay in school", "school is important"
how do I reply?

as long as my hallways and classrooms and teachers and doodles
are the way they are
I am better off
anywhere but school.

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