American Education (Cantos, 2019)

a pantoum

To teach is to imagine
a classroom scattered with bodies—
mouths twisted, chests full of holes—
and go on rambling about poetry.

A classroom scattered with bodies
too young to enter a warzone
goes on rambling about poetry
and fights death with flowers.

Though too young, they enter a warzone,
wrestling with meter and metaphor,
fighting our deaths with flowers,
and planting beauty in neat rows.

Children wrestle with meter and metaphor,
smiles twisting, their chests full of holes
for planting beauty in neat rows.
To teach is to be able to imagine.