Seventh grade—a history simulation:

Cut as many cars out as possible, must meet Mother Russia’s quota

In a frenzy, I end up slicing myself, a few drops fall on the paper, scarlet on white

Recklessly staining the snow, I retreat down a red path.

My supply sabotaged, I didn’t meet daily quota,

A too-real lesson on Soviet conditions.

A pair of scissors placed in my hands.

The pre-K style, edges round, set aside for snowflake chains.

Color inside the lines, cut on the line

Static, precise, no room for deviation.

Now, I’m allowed the sharp ones

To hatch a collage, to patch a tear.

Two fingers in the one thumb hole and one thumb in the two-finger hole.

But it’s simple—color inside the lines, cut on the line

Quota met, collage composed, poem finished—does it matter how?


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