Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Anti-Test Poems

I tend to rant and rave quite a bit during test week. This year, though, so far my rants have been taking the form of poetry. I thought, as the halfway point of the week is here, it would be a good time to share what I have come up with so far.

soul crushing boredom
mixed with stark anxiety

©2010-Art Belliveau

*Alabama High School Graduation Exam

Blind Spots

I am more
than just a score
more than
a number
this is what you
never see

You do not see
the hours I work
to bring home money
to pay for food
to pay for rent
because my father ignores
his child support

You do not see
my infant son
up crying all night
no one to comfort him
but me

You do not see
the empty stomach
which I could not fill
at home
and was too late to fill
at school

You do not see
me at home
speaking my native language
at home with my parents
who know no other
you see only my struggles and flaws
with this new one
I am learning

You do not see
their expectations
weighing me down
tying my stomach in knots
flooding my brain with panic
desperately afraid
I won't measure up

You do not see
because I hide them
in shame
bruises on my body
from last night's beating

You do not see
my hopelessness
my anger
my boredom
my fear
or maybe you do
and just don’t care

You keep your numbers
Don’t label me
with them
for there is more to me
than all your tests
will ever be able
to see

©2010-Art Belliveau


When I woke up for school today,
I just knew that I was sick.
My throat was full of coughing,
And my tummy full of ick.

I told mommy I had a fever,
She reached down and felt my head.
Then she looked real close at me,
and said, “Get out of bed.”

I think I know what’s caused this,
But you don’t need a day of rest.
You need to go to school today,
You have to take that test.”

And so I went to school today.
I took the test.
(I got an A!)

©2010-Art Belliveau

as if

it is as if
they believe--
truly BELIEVE--
that the answers
on this multiple choice test
will be the same as
the answers to life’s questions
about me and my future

if only it were so

©2010-Art Belliveau

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