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Crusade

by Trisha De Gracia

She grew to try to meet our eyes
a woman now
who rose up righteous
hands all full of olive branches
hoping she could touch the souls
of bleak and grey old men
inside their suits of youth
and melt their corporate senility.

As we shuffle into class
-we cattle drawn by bells and whistles
in and out of mousehole doorways
Pavlov's greatest proofs...
we sit in unscribed order
favoured to the front
and less-than-cherished to the corners.

That woman now
who saw the ratfur grey before it came
and tried to singe its stinking hairs-
tried to purge it of its filth to find a future
locked in youth who bore their names
and not the names of faceless admachines-
now meets our dumb and empty smiles
with stares of worn defeat.

This is when she sees
our zeal has been bled out
in graphite smudges
blue or black ink only
marked in glaring red
to put us in our places
let us know
where we belong.


Instead of fighting from the inside
she's become machinery,
the wrench that lodged itself
and then
ironically
became a chugging shaft in this whole
systematic way of
classifying every single mind,
this bolts-into-a-bag
stamp-and-label type society
that we've become accustomed to.

Powerless to circumstance
the olive branches crumble.

The bell then
takes its
toll.

11/22/2004

Author's Note: Was going to be called "Beleznae's Crusade", by whom this piece is inspired. For reference, she is a grade 12 English teacher.

Posted on 11/23/2004
Copyright © 2024 Trisha De Gracia

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Richard Vince on 11/23/04 at 05:01 PM

very pointed and well put. and so, so relevant. this is the sort of thing that needs to be written and read at the moment.

Posted by Leslie Ann Eisenberg on 11/25/04 at 05:20 AM

whoa, that first stanza is amazingly powerful....other favorite lines...-we cattle drawn by bells and whistles in and out of mousehole doorways Pavlov's greatest proofs..This is when she sees our zeal has been bled out in graphite smudges blue or black ink only.....and also, great sound language with ....a chugging shaft ....bolts-into-a-bag i totally get it. a very mature piece of work, trisha

Posted by Michelle Angelini on 06/18/05 at 12:52 AM

Tricia, this is a powerful description of someone who had influence over so many minds, but was locked into a strict educational system against the administration. I happened on it by a very lucky accident.
~Chelle~

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