I am their teacher, and they are arrogant.
I notice first when they state their opinions
as high school juniors:
Whitman is a poor poet,
Dickens doesn't know how to plot,
Cisneros can't create character,
but Plath touches the soul.
They are so sure of their opinions,
and each one is a young professor grading.
They return after a year at college,
just for a visit with the high schoolers,
full of information on the solutions of life,
how they see through the authorities
They continue to grade.
Sharing with the youngsters the secrets of
whom to listen to,
whom to ignore,
what freedom is really like
which sins can and have been secretly performed.
And I wonder, as their attitudes repulse me,
at the mercy of an ageless, eternal God
who tolerates my youthful arrogance
as I place on them my presumptuous grade.
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