Lessons

 

The sky is a blackboard

where I once wrote

a girl is her own production

one hundred times.

The r, the teacher said, was too rolling.

She made me start over again

until it was rigid

like a shrimp on white dinner plate,

restrictive, redundant,

it felt like so many bridges

in a city gone to ruin,

like me leaning toward

my love, unrequited.

 

***

 

Nicole Greaves holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, and a certification in secondary English from Bryn Mawr College. Her poetry has appeared in The American Poetry Review:  Philly Edition, Jacaranda, Calliope, Cleaver Magazine, Acentos Review, and Friends Journal, and she was recently a finalist for the Coniston Poetry Prize held by Radar Poetry. Her work has also been awarded prizes by The Academy of American Poets and the Leeway Foundation of Philadelphia. In 2003, she was the poet laureate of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Much of her work explores themes relating to tensions around acculturation, gender roles, and class. She teaches at The Crefeld School in Philadelphia.

 

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