May 17, 2022 | Writing



white wooden cabinet doors closed



A poem about the failures of our education system.

M. Romero was quiet,
Not too bright,
On parent-teacher night,
He, his mother, and sister came;
I had high hopes that
He’d be all right.

But his grades slipped,
He failed first marking period.

I sent emails;
His guidance counselor told me
She’d reached out to his mother.

M. Romero started failing
The second marking period;
As he was a senior,
If he failed English,
He wouldn’t graduate.

I tried talking to him:
“Is everything all right,
You’re going to fail for the year
If you keep this up”;
He’d nod, say “yeah.”

One morning,
M. Romero wasn’t in school;
The next day,
His name was no longer
On the roster.

I asked his classmates;
They knew nothing.
I emailed his counselor;
She said that he
“wasn’t in school anymore.”
I emailed her again—
No response.

It’s been years now,
I’ve had hundreds of other students.
But still—
It’s one of the things
I don’t like about this place.

Discover more work by S.F. Wright.
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