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  • SD Fulton

A Letter Grade

B is bad for a boy

carrying eight years of straight A’s

and his mother’s high expectations

on skinny Freshman shoulders.

He drips sweat on my desk.

B is for beg.

My mom’s so mad!

If I don’t fix this,

she’ll call the Principal!

His lashes blink an SOS.

B is for bypass class rules.

WHY won’t you accept my

missed assignments? WHY

won’t you assign me extra credit?

His voice breaks.

B is for bear it. But he can’t.

Mom insists this B

on his permanent record

will haunt him forever.

His red face fades to wide-ruled white.

B is also for believe.

Believe what the syllabus says.

Believe high-quality, on-time work

will earn you an A.

He bites his bottom lip. Nods.

C is for choose.

B is for bird, book, boy...(paper collage, SDF)

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