Grasping at Straws: A Poem

My teacher told me to dig deeper

so I sharpened my fingernails and dug into the page

But all I got was a fine for destroying school property

and I still don’t know how Twain was really saying to analyze the story

when he said not to analyze the story.


My teacher told me to read between the lines

so I strained my eyes and searched the blankness

but for the life of me I saw no answers

and was left still without a clue

as to what the raft symbolized.


My teacher told me to open my mind

But that sounded terribly painful

so I opened my mouth and eyes and nostrils

and even my ears

but it still didn’t soak in

that Huck Finn

was a piece of social criticism


So I went in to take the test

and I failed every question

and my teacher shook her head

and said to stop being so literal.

That to grasp what it all really meant

you had to forget what it seemed to mean.


And then I really got into some trouble

because I told her she was full of shit

and she didn’t like that

but I had something to say

for the sake of everybody who’s not full of shit

and I got metaphorical on her 

so that she could dig it.


I said that I would rather lift my cup

feel its character

its substance

the liquid sloshing out and drenching my fingers

the weight wearing on my arms

and the metallic bite blasting my lips

Than waste my time

grasping at straws.Image


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