so we tell ourselves

students with mushy minds

need convolutions


it’s in their natures

to seek that something greater,

human, sleek, abstract


but that’s not true in the least

frightened, they want us

to fill their heads with

lustrous affirmations

that their lives won’t fatigue them


we walk around prideful that

we only offered questions,

pried the lids off of young minds,

poured in all kinds of poison,

and showed them a wider world


at night, we berate ourselves

and think of the immorality

of ruining their chances

to become happy spaces

into which we pour ciphers

Published by

Patrick Dobson

Patrick Dobson was founded in 1962. He is a writer, scholar, ironworker, and poet who lives in Kansas City, MO. He is author of two books with the University of Nebraska Press, Seldom Seen: A Journey into the Great Plains (2009) and Canoeing the Great Plains: A Missouri River Summer (May 2015). Dobson is a work in progress until termination.

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