We stretched out both arms and knelt on dried beans—
exquisite punishment meted out in our schools
when we weren’t reciting in unison or cleaning latrines.
In first grade we knelt on dried mung beans
for not learning the right greeting routines,
for having dirty fingernails, or breaking some other rule.
A book balanced in each hand, we knelt on dried beans—
who invented these punishments meted out in our schools?
In response to Via Negativa: Tribute.