High School Drama
is a year you spend reluctantly, job for
females parents approve, English degree
they fund. Fecund, the community poor
half hour from wealth to which you are born. Feed
student actors when they stay after school.
One asks to lead meditation. You know
that student-led prayer’s approved in rules.
You pass a circle each morning of bowed
heads at the vestibule before the front
office door projecting communal pleas
towards Jesus their lord. To your student,
you say, “It’s no different as long as I leave.”
You give them ten minutes. Must have a snitch.
Your principal next week calls you a witch.
In small towns only known for poverty and balls,
you have to be careful in public school
halls when you dress all in black, chestnut hair falls
on cleavage you can’t hide. Sometimes the cruel
will want inside. Even the coach of the
best team in the state will offer his aid,
ask you out on a date. You do not be-
long here. Don’t understand. Speaks fingers splayed
against your cheek, very hands of local
infamy. Punched a player in the face
with impunity. Clear in his vocals
quid pro quo, English F’s you would erase
for players. As his mentee, your career blessed.
Failure is certain in any witch test.
Five years before Columbine became more
than city inside of your mind (a state of teen-
age mental disease) you will plead before
adult bullies – a principal who leans
toward the football coach, black trench-coated
student actor clenched fist soaked in blood of
a running back, turn of play. Provoked
the wrong drama geek today, punched and shoved
the smaller ones who would report. Nothing
was ever done. Until the brawny lead in your
first play decides inaction is not okay, stings
more than a knuckle buried in a jaw. Ignore
your pleas, parity in their punishment.
Like witches, soon, he receives banishment.
Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of sixteen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House (Maverick Duck Press), Crow Carriage (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), The Meadow (APEP Publications) and Golden Ticket forthcoming from Roaring Junior Press. She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter: (@lolaandjolie) and her website kristingarth.com