Standardized Testing: A Poem

Standardized Testing

by Joel E. Jacobson

I wore bright red Chuck Taylors–
clown shoes–to the Circus
of Senility And Pretense. I’m contracted
to not speak of such a Circus,
of flaming hoops and high wires,
of the gimmicks that make clowns funny,
of the lemmings racing to be the first to leap
from the tent-top tower into a cup
of pencils. I wore a red clown nose, a compliment
to this facade of measurement.
But flashy white makeup is chipped–flawed
frowns portrayed as grins juicy
and blood thirsty for numbers behind
the bubbles. Behind the mask
the lions are broken and starving–
feed me your rat poison and proficient steaks
and whip me, whip me, whip me.


As always, comments are welcome.


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