Child's Crayon

A child’s crayon

bent, worn down

flakey, smooth

she has used it 

for all her notebooks

Be a scientist

maths are important

learn the stars, learn the planets

comprehend, understand

make the data sensible

step one, step two

show your work

you’ve been doing this since you were five

Sidewalk chalk

grubby and moldy

still usable, you think

you make a circle

don’t worry about the radius

you draw some petals

almost like semicircles, you think

it’s crooked and spotty

but you made it

now find the perimeter

in square inches

What will you do?

what will you study?

what will you choose to do?

for the rest of your life

you will do science

you will do math

you will use numbers

you will use equations

art doesn’t make money

Don’t snap your pencil

don’t pull out your hair

don’t cry into your physics book

don’t mutter curses

don’t crumple your paper

don’t wonder why you’re doing this

you’re supposed to be a scientist

it’s been years, you think

you’ve never been very good

but still you take

that new crayon you bought

and you draw a square

it’s not really a square, you think

its sides are unequal

you could fix it, you think

but you don’t

you draw a triangle

the lines cross where they shouldn’t 

that’s not realistic, you think

a childish thing

you color it in anyway

you choose purple for the walls

nobody has a purple house, you think

you make the roof green

You fill the page

with childish, unrealistic things

your crayons run down

they smell like home


you’re so happy


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