One of the first homework assignments I failed was…

Poetry Corner

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Amy Watkins’ poems conjure the fears and joys of childhood and adolescence like it all happened yesterday, and of adulthood stripped clean of the social masks we often wear in the world. This wonderful Orlando poet’s work is well worth exploring. Selected by Susan Lilley.

“One of the first homework assignments I failed was…”

The lesson was physics
I asked the teacher to change
applied. I’d aced the quiz.
my grade, hands shaking like
I knew what to do, but
fluorescent light. My dad
the tiny vehicle would not run
said, “If you aren’t trying,
no matter how many times
why am I paying for that school?”
I started over, reread
The engine he was working
the instructions step-by-step.
stuttered, roared.

Amy Watkins is the author of the chapbooks “Wolf Daughter” and “Milk & Water.” Her latest collection is “Lucky,” and can be found at bunksybooks.com. Susan Lilley is Orlando’s Poet Laureate and the author of Venus in Retrograde, forthcoming from Burrow Press in April 2019

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