permit me to recall for you
"Bird Brain Brown", our fifth grade
English teacher, 1965
from my annuated case.
She was sixty-five, herself.
She was a case, too, our Miss Brown
who would try to manage jeering
birding boys who spotted her
that she was, Miss Brown
by her nature, an 'unflown'
chiding us in pipsqueak.
This is not made up:
You should know
races on your hearts.
Heartbeats are premeasured;
you have one allotment for your life.
If you race your hearts unruly
you will use up all your beats.
You will then die all too young."
We peered at wizened Birdbrain Brown.
We laughed louder. We weren't buying.
Were it true, and hell, and who...
do you want to get all-old like her?
We boys figured there and then:
better to live fast. Die
No doubt shrinking Bird Brain Brown
inspired many boys and girls
to roar up, hairy armpit bikers
to sleep as heroin drug addicts
or thrill-seek lives as pigeons'
The point of this didactic is....
Children! I am teaching you
by proxy for dead Bird Brain Brown:
The fingers, they have not so much
flesh upon the fingertips
wearing sure as life away
these fatty padlets. Then
our digits sharply sprout
raw and decomposing bone.
It is painful and necrotic.
Fingers have, oh, just so-many
taps built-in; you should not type
off tips condemning
Use your nose instead
to sniff a packet of Kool-Aid
and hoist a cup of childish
for memories of tiny sorts
who taught you well just how to lie
with quiet heart and straightened face.
You may go now. Class dismissed.
Please know we meant you well.