Once Too Smart

Tank top, Bulls cap, & a necklace tattoo,
Nineteen & taking a test that matters.
Looking for answers on the ceiling or in the Universe.
Scribbling out a long division problem, haven’t a clue.
You had the answers in the 9th grade,
Too smart to stay in school, pay attention.
Sloughed off, party time, slept late, smoked weed.

At sixteen lover boy did not put on a jimmy,
What did he need protection from, anyway?
Oh, you’re pregnant & dropping out. Smiley face,
How nice is that?

Tank top at the back of the classroom,
“What’s the difference between am and are?”
Who can tell him?  Remember how to conjugate
The verb To Be? I am. You are. She is.
Or, do you only remember the girl you conjugated last night?
In nine months you’ll reach the plural of To Be.

We are – parents, poor, unemployed, proud, getting by
On food stamps & wondering if a GED is possible,
Along with a good job & high pay.
Once too smart to stay in school.


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