Fall 2009 / Issues / Poetry 2009 / Volume 40

Cracker Ceremony — Tim Staley

       Repeat after me:

I do not want to remain a child forever.

Today is the day I become an adult.

I understand once I graduate I will no longer

receive Special Education services

for my Behavior and/or Emotional Disorder.

I promise to act like an adult in Mr. Staley’s class.

Mr. Staley will help me become an adult

as one day I may be his neighbor.

The cracker I hold in my hand is

a symbol for my life.

Break the cracker in half

       Silently, in your head, repeat after me:

In breaking this cracker in half I am

breaking from my childhood.

I am an adult so I can tell the crumbs

on the desk and floor will have to be vacuumed.

If Cracker Ceremony makes my eyes water, Mr.

Staley won’t count it as crying.

Dead pigeons and living weeds are just as

pressing when they happen on your property.

The primary ingredient, unleavened flour, rose

from the dust like everyone else.

I pledge allegiance to the mindset of cut grass

completely through with who wounded who.

Name                                        Date

________________________________________________

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