I’ve been given the finger

numerous times,

been called shithead,

told suck my dick

(pardon me, Virginia)

and other unappealing things;

even had my tires slashed.


All that’s in the province

of learning how to teach

and teaching the slow learners.

But the words I most recall

were from a strange and silent kid

at the end of the school year.

When I called on him, he said,

Go feed the cows!


Green pastures flashed before my eyes,

an innocent country life

devoid of high school problems.

But I replied, That’s insubordination.

Do you want to go to the office?


Go feed the cows, he repeated.

Those were his final words.


I haven’t told a soul till now

but I thought about it long

and almost did.





                                                                                           John Laue