School, inevitable and necessary as it is, can also be a child’s first real encounter with uniformity and academic rules.
I’ve used this poem off and on for years at poetry readings in and around Los Angeles, and afterwards someone always comes up to me and says,
“That’s what it was like for me, too. All the fun was gone.”
Until then, every forest
had wolves in it, we thought
it would be fun to wear snowshoes
all the time, and we could talk to water.
So who is this woman with the grey
breath calling out names and pointing
to the little desks we will occupy
for the rest of our lives?
Ron Koertge is the current poet laureate of South Pasadena.
Contact him at this e-mail address: email@example.com