The teachable moment arrives in its dollar-store shoes & hand-me-down corduroys and takes a front-row seat. We properly interred citizens shift uneasily on our plush velvet beds. Why is the blackboard green now? Who hung that Muslim star map over our heads? The teachable moment brings laughter into the classroom, and never wants to do anything but play with the fingerpaints, which are edible now, they say, & taste like corn syrup. Look, a face! Red mouth, open, open. Angry hot grill. But the blue doesn’t taste as good as the others, so pour it on thick: jeering bluejay, jailbait, merchant marine. Swirl the primary colors together until they all turn to mud. Only the corners of the paper stay dry. Teachable in what way, we’d like to know. Comfort in one’s own skin is the mark of a mongrel. We are all strangers & sojourners in the earth; our name is Legion. American Legion. Why can’t the road crews spray that feral patch of prairie against the fence, that growth the plough’s steel scalpel could never reach? What have they done with our cypress spurge, which smelled so much like lilacs in lilac-time? Quickly now, before the paint dries! But the moment is gone. The millipedes go back to their homework, its evil twin.
Dave Bonta (bio) often suffers from imposter syndrome, but not in a bad way — more like some kind of flower-breathing dragon, pot-bellied and igneous. Be that as it may, all of his writing here is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).