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Saturday, March 31, 2012


by David Feela

    “Why aren’t you at home studying
for the exam?”
    “My parents told me I was born to be
sacrificed at the government games next week.”
    “But you have the highest academic
standing in the class!”
    “Yeah, I wish I’d known about this
back in kindergarten.”
    “But you’re the only one in the district
who understands calculus!”
    “They say math skills aren’t a good
predictor of who will survive.”
    “But you’re my best friend!”
    “Then let’s switch places.  I take your
exam and you go to the arena.”
    “You’d really take my exam?”
    “Sure, what’s a little sacrifice.”
    “If I don’t pass this year, I don’t graduate!”
    “Well, I can say without equivocation
that you will pass.”
    “That would be so cool, if equivocation
means you won’t get caught.”
    “That’s what it means.”
    “And you won’t mind your exam getting
marked as a no show?”
    “Just so nobody from the arena comes
looking for me while I’m doing your calculus.”
    “I’ll cover for you.”
    “Here, take my knife, and my bow and
arrows; they won’t allow them in the exam room.”
    “And you might as well have these
cookies and cheese sticks too.”
    “But you’ll need every ounce of energy
you can muster just to think straight!”
    “I had a big breakfast.”
    “But it’s a six hour test!”
    “I know, but chances of getting a snack
once they let you into the arena are not that great.”
    “Well, if you think so.”
    “That’s what I’m here for, to do all the thinking.”
    “A kiss for luck?”
    “As if luck had anything to do with it.”

David Feela writes a monthly column for The Four Corners Free Press and for The Durango Telegraph. A poetry chapbook, Thought Experiments, won the Southwest Poet Series. His first full length poetry book, The Home Atlas appeared in 2009. His new book of essays, How Delicate These Arches (Footnotes from the Four Corners), has just been released through Raven's Eye Press.