Saucy Pretty

Photo by Kat Smith on
Saucy Pretty

Regarding matters of
my childhood— 

in particular

my school’s primary
report card— 

which made
sinful distinctions



Needs Improvement


Satisfactory Progress.

It would not surprise
me much, if your
school had a similar
grading system.

At age six, I,
an untamed boy
sporting a world class

and unfamiliar 
with the rules
of polite society,

Was graded,

Needs Improvement,

in matters of 

Plays well with others.

“Needs improvement?”
Bloody hell?

Was that the best
Miss Throttle’s
heart could muster?

With sisters like mine,
the fact I wasn’t up for

Murder One 

was just short 
of a miracle.

Needs Improvement ?

Your honor,

My honor has been 


for defending myself
in the sandbox,
Friday last,

from the uncivilized 
advances of one

Saucy Pretty,
queen of the 
Monkey Bars,

a classmate,

who grabbed
me by the throat and
attempted to kiss me

until I pushed a small
handful, perhaps ten
thousand grains at most
of sand into her 
puckered mouth?

For that my 
near perfect
attendance goes 

For that it is forgotten
that I alone was the 
only boy left standing
against nine girls
in our first 
Spelling Bee?

Plays Well With Others?

What kind of made up
Cockamamie evaluation
category is that?

I’m working my head off

the alphabet and
state names and
learning how to 
line up for recess,
and  I get 

dinged with such a 
frivolous mark as

Needs Improvement 


PlaysWell With Others 

when the girls are 
hanging upside down on
the monkey bars,
dresses over their heads,
bare knees showing?

Give me a break!

from the Senses and More Such collection

. . . j

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