A Ruff Subject

I bought my first puppy a couple of weeks ago

He's a baby pug with the flattest face

And a body that kind of resembles a potato

So that's what I named him

Potato

 

I get home from school every day around 3 o clock

And he greets me like I've returned from the war

With nothing but innocence stopping up his nostrils

Causing him to make snorts 24/7

And I tell my baby

-And yes, he is my baby-

Let me tell you what I learned today

 

Oklahoma is ranked 48th in the nation

When it comes to funding education

I let it sink in

And with his eyes nearly popping out of his head

He says

"That's ridiculous"

 

Now you can understand why I was shocked

My dog just talked to me and

I'm standing there thinking

Somebody must've spiked my drink with something

But he continues and says

"Why don't you do something about it, Brannon?"

And I tell him

"What am I suppose to do about it, Potato?

I'm only one person"

 

"You are more than just a grain in the sand

A filler in the space

It takes a thousand ripples to make a wave"

He says

"The machine only works if every cog is working

Some smart person in some smart people book once said

An object at rest will stay at rest until acted upon"

Considering his brain is smaller than my fist

He had a point

 

This state would take the bronze medal

For the Lowest Standards in Education Award

So watch out, Mississippi

We're coming for the gold

There are more than a thousand unlicensed teachers teaching

Because surprise surprise

The qualified people are leaving the state

Where their paycheck will be about $30,000 fatter

 

So I'm standing there with a talking puppy and

A question of how I can do something

I search for an answer in the wrinkles of his face

Well

In the last election for state offices

Only 30% of Oklahomans actually bothered to show up

And my 18th birthday came with more privileges than

Just gambling and buying cigarettes to slowly kill myself with

I can vote now

 

Historically

Young voters are about as likely to vote

As you are to win the lottery

But we are beginning to make up the masses

Not that the old white men in office want us to know that

Our graphite dusted fingers can heal these paper cuts and

Take their common core curriculum and

Shove it down their throats

Because I'm sick and tired of taking so many friggin tests

There's a difference between learning and memorizing

There's a difference between filling up the bucket

And starting the fire

 

Standing together

We can start a riot in our minds

Flip over a table that holds their outdated methods

Burn the idea that we are a number rather than a person

And rip up the past for a better future

We need to vote in officials who actually give a damn about us

It needs to be a punch in the face

Because innocence never changed the world

And education is what prepares us for the greatest inheritance of all

The world

The past

The now

The future

The everything

It's all going to fall in our unstained hands

And we need to be ready for it

 

So

Potato and I are pretty pimped up to change Oklahoma

And in the process of it all

He takes a crap on the floor and says

"That's what I think about that!"

 

And I say

"Okay, but did you really have to poop on the floor?

I mean

I have to clean that up now

And it's kinda really gross"

 

He apologized

And I wrote this poem

And he hasn't said a word since

But he made his words count

And now

So do we

Poetry Slam: 
This poem is about: 
My community
My country

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