The Teacher

By Christina Kapp

Knees on the earth, toes curled into weeds,

I dig my fingers into the dirt, holding tight.


Holding on is exhausting;

humans have no roots.


A cat walks by and shows me her claws,

knives curved into sharp white moons, tucked


away in black fur sleeves. With a screech,

small birds shatter to the ground. The cat smiles;


I hold on. Across the street children chase

a ball down the driveway. It rolls away


down the street. They yell: Can you get that?

They are not allowed to roam in the streets.


I dig in: I shake my head, feeling the earth.

Fall away. Freedom belongs to the greedy.


We are all free to be greedy. Greed is a push.

Come on, lady, please! A child trips forward.


The ball has a face. It rolls head over chin.

Faces become wheels. Wheels score the earth.


There is no sense in fighting, children.

Gravity is the greatest teacher.


Christina Kapp has published her short fiction, poetry, and essays in numerous publications includingBarn Owl Review, Gargoyle, DOGZPLOT, Pindeldyboz, PANK,, and apt. She has a M.A. in writing from Johns Hopkins University and is working toward her second M.A. in literature at Rutgers University-Newark. She leads the Franklin Chapter of the New Jersey Writers Society and is currently working on her first novel. 

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