The Clerestory Podcast S1 E25

The Oklahoma Tenant Farmer and Me
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Mr. Cop

On the shelves in the back of room 211

our US History books waited at rest.

After roll call we left our desks

and slow-walked back to retrieve them.

On our way to our seats

we stared out the windows

where we all wanted to be.

Mr. Cop liked to start the year

on page one. We took turns reading aloud

and in between scanned the notes

of predecessors and friends:

Mr. Cop sucks. Kill me now.

We memorized significant dates,

the Presidents, the states

and capitals and learned how

to be bored out of our gourds.

Each week, he’d hand out tests

and flee the room. Honor code,

he’d quip, heading to the lounge

for a smoke. We got as far

as the Civil War.

Ed Meek has had poems in The Sun, The Baltimore Review, The Paris Review. His new book of poems is High Tide. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his wife Elizabeth and dog Mookie. Find Ed on Twitter, Facebook, or his website.

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