Poetry, The Written Word

An M. Henault Original – Dangling Modifier

0 Comments 28 January 2012

Dangling Modifiers

Add prostitution
to the list of obstacles
I’ve face while educating
this nation’s youth.

It’s hard explaining
dangling modifiers
to a 13 year old
who the night before
had an old man’s cock
dangling in front of her
ready to mollify her
like a newborn with a pacifier.

She must be much quieter
with a dick in her mouth
but she’s loud as hell here.

But  enough,
it’s her grammar,
which is as terrible as her life,
that I’m paid to fix.

to them she is just a test score
they can compare
to a 13 year old
in Norway
in Singapore
in some God blessed place
where youth is not forsaken

whose girls didn’t see
their father overdose on heroin
sixteen hours after being released
from county jail

who didn’t watch Debbie
from social services
take her sister
screaming from her arms
as she told her daddy was only sleeping.

who didn’t live in some homeless shelter
and take gifts of penny candy
from old men
for letting them touch her
over her panties when she was seven.

but she’s a number
and numbers are meant to be compared
compounded,
not consoled or
condemned
and she’s in my class
with Wariner’s Grammar open on her desk
and I’m responsible for her improvement.

For a moment, I’m hopeful
when she leafs through the book,
raises her hand.

I call on her and she says,
“After seeing other people’s,
my belly button is too high.
Wanna see it?”

And I stop and say, “Ha!
A dangling modifier!
Your belly button can’t see others!”

And she says, “Mister
you don’t know how many it’s seen.”

I hand out yellow paper,
assign excercise 13,
and think that even if I’m doing this right
there’s just too much wrong.

- who has written 510 posts on The Shade.


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