I Don’t Wanna Go Back to School


I don’t wanna go back to school, don’t wanna
go back to rules and rulers and things measured

by some common core standards I don’t quite under
-stand. Don’t wanna sit still or be quiet or stop

the spill of my heartsong. I don’t wanna play
along to belong or pretend to be strong when

I need a good cry. I don’t wanna know why
history always repeats itself and only the

slightest pencil marks can be erased. I don’t
want to trace cursive letters I will never use

or wonder at the silence of being confused
by figures my future may never have to

fumble. I don’t want to stumble over phrases
I cannot read, feed someone else’s inner need

for boxes checked and quotas met. Don’t wanna
stuff life into binders or put on blinders to keep

out the exquisite chaos. I don’t want to calculate
the rate of loss or gain down some symboled drain,

or carry the one. I wanna multiply sun and sea
and sand and mediate moonlight with bare hands

and I wanna stay up late by starlight and sleep
in and learn only the earth’s rhythms and the

algorithms of my own tired, sacred skin. I
don’t wanna go back to school; I wanna stay in.


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5 Responses to I Don’t Wanna Go Back to School

  1. Your inner child: not only does she not “wanna”; she ain’t “gonna”, lol

  2. Susan says:

    Beautiful to this retired teacher! Exquisite chaos on a scale with filling in blanks? A detailed and wise protest! But when will she learn to conform in case she needs a cover?

  3. sheryl kay oder says:

    Great surprise ending.

  4. Shawna says:

    One after the other, your poems’ brilliance grows. Those last six lines, girl. I was feeling all the ADD ramble jamble, knowing exactly how you feel, for myself and for my kids. But then you flew into the ending with such a burst of joy, and my heart started to BREATHE. Now I’m trembling and my skin is made of bubble wrap, that is to say it’s bumpy, goose bumpy.


    • Shawna says:

      I love “carry the one,” which is a gentle God reference. And YES, you have to move away from a “school” attitude in able to really start to learn (“go back” versus “stay in”). Just brilliant.

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