Filling out report cards, I’m inspired to write a poem

by Mr. Sheehy


Entering a student’s grade,
I examine the empty comment-box
and consider my options:

Pleasure in class.
Enjoy having this student.
Has trouble staying on task.

Who invented this genre?
How far back does it go?

Did Mary stow in a chest a secret pile of scrolls
from her son’s schooling –
qualitative tidbits inserted into the margin by a row of alphas?

Excels at sharing.
Memorizes Torah like he wrote it.
Speaks with confidence and authority.

But if she had them,
they’re now lost,
possibly because they were not kept by my mother,

who has preserved even that most inaccurate message
I brought home during kindergarten,
slipped into the margin beside the letter S:

Shy and withdrawn around others.


Image Attribution:

Original image: ‘steph04‘ by: Stephanie Pakrul