Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Evan plucks his socks again while classmates read "The Odyssey" by L.R. Harvey

His piston fingers tirelessly fire,
powered by the sleepless engine of autism. Thread
by bleached-white thread, his Nike socks retire
into wisps of yarn that spread
around the classroom carpet, his manna in
this wilderness.

A student scans for homework answers in
the text. Another rubs his chin, looking for prickles he’s
never found before. I yawn
and look for coffee.

Telemachus is questioning in Nestor’s halls
while Megan stares at Mike and questions if she'll die alone.
A lip-sticked mother calls
the school's front desk
to question why her daughter has a B. Right down the hall
Jim Walker asks the AC vent
why it won't work.

In here, the still
is interrupted only by the prick
of yarn in Evan’s questioning
fingers, unraveling the thickness
of the world, searching for something,
answers, all his own.

L.R. Harvey writes poetry and teaches high schoolers in Chattanooga, T.N. His most recent work has appeared The Write Launch, Tennessee Magazine, After the Pause, Light, and many other magazines and journals. He holds his B.A. in English and his M.A. in teaching, and he is hoping to pursue his MFA within the next year.

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