The American Schools: Farming a New Breed

by Amanda Pfeifer

HE LOADED the paper
packing the corners
a stout farmer sunburnt with bales of scholastic hay

we ate them furiously -- the language arts teacher snorting
as he printed forty copies of a ten page short story

the printer hummed and spurted like a belabored tractor in protest
and we rode it down the hall
bucking all the way
to parade it in front of the children

passing out packets like slop -- slithering in a trough
they squealed and shoved for a spot to feed
and the principal looked for the fattest swine to enter in the State Fair

walking the grounds with a fading yardstick
that she smacked up and down in her palm

we get great numbers here, great scores
she said as she firmly slapped Jese's tight pink belly

and next year they’ll be even bigger

the teachers wiped the mud on their pants
as they loaded the pig-nosed children on a whizzing conveyor belt

see you at the fair
she said from a coral waxed smile

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