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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1919217
Rated: 13+ · Prose · Personal · #1919217
You always knew how the taste of arsenic defined me, how my meekness and fears poisoned
Arsenic

         for Mr. Mysliwiec

You always knew how the taste of arsenic defined me, how my meekness and fears poisoned my life, how I detested school.

You knew I knew my sulfates from my sulfites then focused on those who needed more to pass the exams. Yet, I was never neglected.

When I flew over the side-horse you were the one who looked at my wrists and sent me off to the nurse. One broken, one sprained. You explained my absence to my physics teacher.

And you were there when I took my scholarship exam, finding a desk for my left hand, the other one useless.

In the periodic table I was some rare earth no one needed. I sure wasn't gold, yet your lithium pulled me through adolescence, the valences of elements, the fickle static of electrons, helped me embrace the core of their protons, understand the neglected neutrons of atoms.

And then you gave me arsenic to test in the lab. You knew I wouldn't taste it, knew I'd get an A on the project, get A's on my exam. It wasn't just the grades that I cherished or my ability to spell and pronounce your name. It was the chemistry of teacher and student, both suffering through high school ... just the same.

© Kåre Enga

[168.203] #9 November 8, 2011.

Note to self, earlier versions: You always knew how the taste of arsenic defined me, how my meekness and fears poisoned my life, how I detested school.

You knew I knew my sulfates from my sulfites then focused on those who needed more to pass the exams. Yet, I was never neglected.

When I flew over the side-horse you were the one who looked at my wrists and sent me off to the nurse. One broken, one sprained. You explained my absence to my physics teacher.

And you were there when I took my scholarship exam, finding a desk for my left hand, the other one useless.

In the periodic table I was some rare earth no one needed. I sure wasn't gold, yet your lithium pulled me through adolescence, the valences of elements, the fickle static of electrons, helped me embrace the core of their protons, understand the neglected neutrons of atoms.

And then you gave me arsenic to test in the lab. You knew I wouldn't taste it, knew I'd get an A on the project, get A's on my exam. It wasn't just the grades that I cherished or my ability to spell and pronounce your name. It was the chemistry of teacher and student, both suffering through high school ... just the same.
© Copyright 2013 Kåre Enga, P.O. 22, Blogville (enga at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1919217