EARNING OUR FUN
In elementary school
we had this certain teacher
that wouldn’t let us out to recess
until each student had picked up
twenty tiny pieces of trash
from the floor.
Peanuts or pieces of dirt,
whatever. Just had to be trash.
After we’d picked them up,
we’d have to go up to her
and hold out our hand while she’d count,
“one, two, three” and on up to twenty.
But there was this one girl
who always had fewer than twenty.
She’d have maybe eighteen or nineteen.
each time she went up
to get her palmful of dirt inspected,
if she was trying to pull one over on the teacher
or if she just couldn’t count very well.