System

~ The Thomasites were a group of 600 American 
teachers who travelled in 1901 from the United States 
to the newly annexed territory of the Philippines 
on the transport ship USS Thomas.  




Are we not yet            as good as
Perfectly pleated    cutouts of girls
and boys    with red and blue lines
Haven't we lisped       all the way
down the alphabet         B is for brick
and    baseball bat    H for the hammock
we wove     for the teacher      unused
to this heat      The ship has gone
away     Good morning!    Good-bye!
Under        acacia trees     we build    
our résumés   folding       our knees    
repeating and repeating      all day         

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