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Apr 2018
School was a pleasing dream
a world of wonder
in which I yearned
to get through the door
to the desk
to my graphite, with its #2
That scent of worn paper
and paste upon the wood
my place of reprieve
full of my passions like a
kid in a toy shop
a poor boy in a rich man's world
that was when school was
a neverending treasure trove
with golden coin upon coin
but then was suddenly halted by a hard brick wall
the word testing carved against the stones

3rd grade hit
and then my mind
began to bite their words
turning them to solid stone
as time passed on my thoughts degraded
till all was gray
and uniform
like a blonde child in a **** school
mind wiped and reprogrammed
forced to stay in line
scolded to sit still
throwing culture out the window
till only the standardized colors of a flag remained

Now I’m just a bibliophile
sitting atop a pile
with books and texts throughout the ages
heaped under my feet
but I can not make out their stories
For their pages are blackened
and their words blurred
like a rushing river of soiled ink
caused by cluttered shelves
in the library of my mind
that has been burned by torches
held by men and women in suits and ties
holding badges of authority
like my mind is a criminal
being investigated by the FBI

They tell me I should know
that it’s easy
1, 2, 3 go
but I can’t
they locked my door
once they began to teach their TEKS
my colors hid and got locked beneath
and now my mindsets stuck
with no hope for release
What was a rainbow
with it’s *** of golden words
Now resides a rusting locker
with chipping paint and faded words

The creative concepts once in my head
have been broken by just five letters
that changed my words to dull markings
and erased the color from my thoughts
like the page in a coloring book quickly erased
so the sky would be blue instead of magenta
because the sky can never be anything else but blue

Five letters that I thought defined who I was
that I was always worried to fail
A big red F peeking over my shoulder
Five letters that could destroy
thinking that they controlled my fate
three old ladies threatening with their scissors and thread
to cut a cord made of multiple choice answers
Five letters that could mean success
or doom

like a hazy brained plan to stop a war
that could only continue to grow worse as
each soldier fell while running through the minefield of society

But those five letters are just a tool
To add an extra grade
and a little more rules
Stamping labels upon our IQ
Taking away our peace and serenity
Angling our goals away from our own
Adding stress upon tentative minds
Redirecting our thoughts from right to left
so suddenly trees are plastic and
the alphabet only has letters A-H
and all we know are large cement buildings
instead of fields of flowers
My whole world in a pint sized room
with flowing waterfalls that burst from my imagination
obscured by bland walls and heavy doors
Colorful assemblies with
shushing giants making up a chorus
irony written on every poster of every wall
learn and you’ll pass
go to sleep and you’ll pass
eat healthy and you’ll pass
no need for imagination
no need for outside experience
just sit in that chair
and take that quiz
that test
that exam
that benchmark
We’ll have fun later in the year,
but that better not be your essay topic
and that story better not be fiction
And all the while I scream

I want color
I want the sky to be magenta
I want to use every word and phrase available to me
I want to soar as crane flying across a lake
I want to run like a track star to the the finish
Throw down the pencils
the printed paper
throw away the charts and empty messages on the walls
I want to run down the halls
and dance instead of sit
I want to sing instead of speak
I want to learn instead of being taught

But all I can do is sit
All I can do is write
All I can do is conform
So I won’t be thrown in the trash
like a piece of worthless junk
that still has a purpose
So i won’t be stuck in the same room for more than eighteen years
like a prison sentence for not knowing the laws of this country
So i won’t be left behind
like the homeless in the streets

School was a joy
Education was a treasure
But now is defiled
by one
packet of paper
Lana D
Written by
Lana D  F
   King Key
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