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The Shadow Teacher


ISSUE:  Fall 2015

I teach them to behave just like the rest.
They’re marked as absences, take up no room.
They only raise their hands when others do.
They never speak, even when spoken to.

At noon, they always win at hide-and-seek;
They love follow-the-leader. Never picked,
Not even last, on either side for ball,
They never cry, however much they fall.

The buddy system works, and so I pair
Them with a partner who’s a solid match.
Although they’re clingy, they are quick to learn
Single file, and share, and wait your turn.

They do not count. They only know subtraction;
Their hands glide noiselessly across the page,
Lefties mostly, erasing as they go.
Downcast, as school lets out, they stretch and grow.

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