The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Bruce Bennett

Life after School


The kid has AIDS, and I'm supposed to teach him?

He never gets assignments in on time.

He often misses class. I know he's ill,

but not from him. I'm not supposed to know it.

He sometimes looks befuddled, but he's smart.

And when he talks, he talks. The whole class listens.

And he is very sweet, and very gentle.

But sometimes, god, he looks and sounds just awful.

Last week we had a writer in to class.

He went around the room, asking them questions.

"So, Mack, what is it you are going to do

after you’re finished here?" And Mack just smiled.

He has this kind of beatific smile.

He said, "I'm going to be an engineer."

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