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I should’ve read a review about you.

Should’ve done my homework,,
packed my peanut butter in a paper bag,
looped my saddle shoes on the Welcome mat
before the stairs to the street and the school bus.

Now I’m the little girl with a stick of chalk,
the red-faced one with the marker at the board,
staring at an empty space
waiting to escape the turning in my gut
that rumbles, echoes before a bolt:
a brilliant idea,
a gold star response,
the square root of twelve
times old stripes by socks.

Do my frown and sinking eyes
hurt you to look away when I
slide into my desk-chair cell?
What if I’m the fearful little girl
who will never raise her hand again
in a classroom of all eyes on her
because she forgot to do her homework?

If I’d read a review about you
like web columns on the movies
we watch and watch and rent and attend,
if I’d reviewed the things you’d promise
the love you’ve left abandoned and behind,
I could make piles of chalk dust,
drawing until you made me stop.
And the board on that day
would’ve told me years ago to stop.

I should’ve read a review about you.