You could have a big dipper   

Standardized by John Davis



Grab the kid in diapers. Test him.

Can he grab a sippy cup at six months?

Test his potty training. Can he navigate

a trike at 3? Send him to reform trike school

until he’s ready, and if he can’t read at 4,

send him to halfwit school or deport him.

Test him in third grade. Test him in fifth grade.

Create the greatest test taker ever. Throw

his imagination to the dogs. Test his foot plant.

Test his smile. Test his smelling habits.

Don’t graduate him if he can’t recite

36 digits of pi, if he can’t invent an algorithm

to shrink a continent, if he can’t determine

sine, cosine and tangent. Don’t let him

walk the planet. If he splits an infinitive,

shirk him back to first grade. Test him at 35.

If he can’t determine what state of matter

a heating curve represents, cash out his pension

and send him to a dungeon. Test him at 60.

Test him at 70 on microeconomics.

Trauma is good. Don’t let his mind wander

for a moment. Test that moment. Don’t let it

drop into a single line of perfection like a sunray

shining on the bells of a foxglove.



John Davis is the author of Gigs and The Reservist. His work has appeared recently in DMQ Review, Iron Horse Literary Reviewand Terrain.org. Now retired, he performs in blues bands.

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