A Moment Not Forgotten
poetry by Jonathan Bracker
I guess most people know
That persons who teach in public schools
Are required to take courses in Education
To be allowed to do it.
But perhaps not everyone knows that
For teaching at the college level, those courses are not.
Also, at some schools Composition 101 need not be taken
By would-be teachers if a high enough grade in grammar
Is made on the entrance exam. I opted out;
I made an "A" on that section. So in my twenties,
Standing tall and somewhat shaky before my first
Composition 101 class, on the beginning day,
I did not understand that there is a way
To properly call roll. I had not first
Studied the names. Naively I assumed
I could just read them out, seat by seat.
Imagine my shock when I saw on my list
The name of Rhonda Fuqua. No problem
With the first name but how about her second,
Which was new to me? I spoke what came to mind.
It came out “Rhonda Fuckya.” Imagine,
At first, the silence, and then me ducking my blushing face.
Hear the titters and guffaws of all except Rhoda F.
Young teachers taught how to teach, had it easier.
About the Writer
Poems by Jonathan Bracker have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry Northwest, Southern Poetry Review, and other periodicals, and in eight collections, the latest of which, from Seven Kitchens Press, is Attending Junior High. Find him on Facebook.