Fall 1989 • Vol. XI No. 4 Poetry |

First Day of School

Like some petty official in his suit the new geometry teacher confronts a solid stare—thirty ninth-grade boys, the sum of their cold curiosity. He remembers all too well when he was sitting there, the new teacher before them like a specimen—an exotic bug, perhaps—wondering What will it do? On the way to school he'd wondered this himself. Why he's a teacher when he still hates to have to go to school. Was this all you get for growing up? To know things twice? The same perfumes of floor-wax in September? The same white hockey pucks nested in the boys' room urinals? All the gloomy scents of a public school hastily groomed like a sullen boy to put on grown-up manners, meet the public. Did he learn the alphabet so as only to go back home to teach a copy of himself the alphabet? The fraudulence of it all seems so complete, so ludicrous, he can hardly bring himself to speak. No one in the room is fooled. His government totters, totters, yet like a teacher, gamely, he opens his black

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Pope’s House

By Jonathan Holden

Like some petty official in his suit the new geometry teacher confronts a solid stare—thirty ninth-grade boys, the sum of their cold curiosity. He remembers all too well when he […]

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