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Wednesday, October 05, 2005


by Anthony Gayle

“You have 15 minutes to complete the next worksheet."
I don’t think. I just move.
Let the pencil lead.
Speed is the key.
Teacher tells me
that this will help me compete
in the real world.
If I can fill out the worksheet
in time, maybe I can fill out the time sheet to work.
At the very least:
I'll be able to recite my DC number during roll call,
the points scored by the local legend
during his first game of pro-ball,
and the amount of money I have left at the commissary
after the bribe to make sure I get to make my phone call.

Is there room for me in Mathematics B?--
In a room that has more students than it has seats.

She works the double shift
at the factory.
15 years on the job
and the supervisor wouldn't know her name
if it weren't sown into the pocket
of her light blue smock.
box after box,
exactly 25 minutes for lunch-
1 minute late means 15 minutes docked.
Time to zone out,
mentally fly away
while her body continues to obey.
She's got mouths to feed,
bills to pay--
just sent one out,
the next one's already on its way.
Who, better than her,
knows the Infinities contained within theday?

Is there room in Mathematics B
for someone like me?
Somewhat like you,
and somewhat less free.

Anthony Gayle is a 27 year old math instructor. He states, “I write to learn (about myself) as I learn to write. It is a positive, empowering cycle.”