My entry for day 4 of the 2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: “take the phrase ‘(blank) Sheet,’ replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write the poem.”
When teacher’s gone away, children untamed
assume different names. Desks rearranged
by chemistry rather than tyranny
sits friend beside friend; why wouldn’t they attend?
Near-sighted students no longer need glasses
when they can sit in the front. They see fine–
and listen too–when needing not to squint
to read the teacher’s chicken scratch,
when the substitute remains blind
to the antics that happen behind her back
and focuses instead on teaching math
and science and words beyond “No!”
or “Stop!” or idle threats that rein no beasts
but rather docile sheep who never bleat anyway.
No longer centered in the front, the brats
fall to the back and play with their phones
to the pleasure of the rest of the class
that finally learn something about math.
For once, the roll sheet has everyone
in attendance, ready to learn as desired.