Jane Kenyon

(1947-1995 / United States)

Trouble with Math in a One-Room Country School - Poem by Jane Kenyon

The others bent their heads and started in.
Confused, I asked my neighbor
to explain—a sturdy, bright-cheeked girl
who brought raw milk to school from her family's
herd of Holsteins. Ann had a blue bookmark,
and on it Christ revealed his beating heart,
holding the flesh back with His wounded hand.
Ann understood division. . . .

Miss Moran sprang from her monumental desk
and led me roughly through the class
without a word. My shame was radical
as she propelled me past the cloakroom
to the furnace closet, where only the boys
were put, only the older ones at that.
The door swung briskly shut.

The warmth, the gloom, the smell
of sweeping compound clinging to the broom
soothed me. I found a bucket, turned it
upside down, and sat, hugging my knees.
I hummed a theme from Haydn that I knew
from my piano lessons. . . .
and hardened my heart against authority.
And then I heard her steps, her fingers
on the latch. She led me, blinking
and changed, back to the class.

Topic(s) of this poem: math


Comments about Trouble with Math in a One-Room Country School by Jane Kenyon

  • Fabrizio Frosini (12/15/2015 11:58:00 AM)


    I hummed a theme from Haydn that I knew
    from my piano lessons..

    - ITALIAN:

    Canticchiai un tema di Haydn che avevo imparato
    dalle lezioni di pianoforte..
    (Report) Reply

    8 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (12/4/2015 8:35:00 AM)


    Narration of the one room country school is Superb so also the body language of the miss taking the student to task. Enjoyed the poem. Thanks for sharing.10 points. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, December 4, 2015



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