American History

American History
by Susan Rich

Someday soon I’ll be saying, at school

there were chalkboards, at school
we read books made of paper,

we drank milk from small cartons. We drew.
At school we liked children unlike us

studied evolution, enjoyed recess, plenty of food.

At school we made globes of papier-mâché,
built solar systems democratized in sugar cubes.

At school we sang harmonies of Lennon –
McCartney; we were cool;

collected pennies for children in China
Biafra, Bangladesh, and Timbuktu.

There were teachers of Plato, King,
and Kennedy all paid for by taxpayers

for an ordinary American school.

American History – Susan Rich

Susan Rich has traveled to Bosnia Herzegovina, South Africa, and the West Bank as a human rights activist and electoral supervisor. She has worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer, a Program Organizer for Amnesty International and now teaches English and Film at Highline Community College outside of Seattle, WA. Susan is the author of three collections of poetry, The Alchemist’s Kitchen (2010) named a finalist for the Foreword Prize and the Washington State Book Award, Cures Include Travel (2006), and The Cartographer’s Tongue / Poems of the World (2000) winner of the PEN USA Award for Poetry. She has received awards The Times Literary Supplement of London, Peace Corps Writers and the Fulbright Foundation. You can find her on the web at www.susanrich.net

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