Laura Bandy: Hack

                                Act Two, by Mary Hatch, 2010, oil on linen, 14” x 18”



Sarah hates her twelve year old’s “yo momma” jokes so much,
Not because they’re offensive, although they are, but because
they’re hack. He might as well tell them while smashing watermelons
she says, then mutters something mean about ukuleles and prop
comics. I silently agree that my nephew is not very good at comedy
but then, neither are we. In elementary, Sarah and I switched
classrooms to fool our teachers year after year, our fellow students on board
then bored since it always worked. The same prank from 3rd through 6th? Hack.
Except for Ms. Thaxton, the coolest teacher in school, who noticed fast
when my sister took my place in the back row, but just winked and kept passing
out the spelling quizzes that I did well on, that she decorated with stickers. If
I’m not careful, Ms. Thaxton will hijack this poem; the enormous cardboard
Rubik’s Cube in her classroom that fit three children, a hideaway behind tall
wall-length bookshelves, hard floor purple-carpeted, dotted with pillows and designed
for book-lovers like me to relax, take our time… On her desk, Stephen King
novels and one called The Plant People about a town full of humans mysteriously turned
into cacti that landscaped my nightmares for years. She was young with long black hair
that made me grow my own locks long and her story ends sadly, I won’t tell that part here
because stories bring no one back, hack. Down the hall, Mr. Mitchell taught math
for the summers off, he droned on, he drank at work, hack. To be a twin is hack, who
needs two of anything so alike, unless one is defective perhaps and writes to try and hide,
hack. The college boys next door throwing parties every weekend with cranking bass and
twirling girls, just like they went to a real school in a real town instead of this one, heck
winter is hack, relying on white drifts and weak sun, our windows frosted while we sip
hot cocoa topped with marshmallows designed to look like snow, hack for days. The USA
started strong, had a new point of view, a stance. You may not have liked all that witch-
burning, the massacres of natives and slaves in chains, but let’s admit she could spin a yarn.
Darn. I’ve lost my way, can’t find the thread to tug to take us back to the beginning, unless
knock knock. Who’s there. A broken pencil. Broken pencil who never mind it’s pointless

Laura Bandy

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