Fall 2006

Volume 1, Issue 2




Maybe we expected too much—
for the teacher to polish
the gold in us
to right every wrong we write.

Maybe we yearned
for a carnival-house mirror
to make us thinner,
broader, buff.

Did we pay cash
so she’d lunch us at Lutece?
Phone Oprah on our behalf?
Hand us a draft from her Swiss account?

Shouldn’t we have written
ragged this time, raw,
spelunking down
past the tired truth?

Maybe we got a lesson
we hadn’t bargained for,
a sick feeling that our anger
had nothing to do with this class.

Maybe we needed to jab, not cover,
shoulder punches, stay standing
till finally it’s beaten into us:
ours is the only voice we need.


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© 2006 Americana: The Institute for the Study of American Popular Culture