Collective Unrest

 

Mockingbird

January 23, 2019

#WalkUpNotOut
invite that kid who sits alone
to join your friends at the lunch table
smile, say hi, break bread
be kind.

Kids can be for-real-mean nowadays
I’m a teacher
I know
they’re good for all kinda shit-talkin
and shenanigans

and they just wanna mess around
writing letters to Congress,
giving speeches, and organizing marches
when they should be doing homework

in fact

mine have an essay due tonight
on gender criticism for Jane Eyre
watch half of em turn it in late
because they’re all caught up
talkin about their rights
like they got a right to be safe in school
like they got a right to be heard

like they got a right not to die.

Simmer down.

Remember, every month
we’ve been practicing lockdown drills
and besides, things like that don’t happen here
guns don’t kill people, people kill people
and we save the lone wolves
when we’re kind.

Kids don’t need to be walking out
where the city snow is dirty,
inside it’s quiet-time
we’re reading little fictions.

Good thing kids never listen to what you tell em:
Hush, little baby, don’t say a word…

 

 

Christine Taylor, a multiracial English teacher and librarian, resides in her hometown Plainfield, New Jersey.  She serves as a reader and contributing editor at OPEN:  Journal of Arts & Letters.  Her work appears in Modern Haiku, Glass:  A Journal of Poetry, Room, and The Rumpus among others.  She can be found at www.christinetayloronline.com

 

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