A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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June 2008, vol 4 no 2

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Cherie Hunter Day


Today's Math

Every school playground has a bully and here the toughest girl is in charge. She demands tribute and loyalty. Today she is testing for bravery. The skinny, quiet girl with glasses is a good candidate. She'll fit easily through the basement window of the upper classmen's dining hall. Phrase it as a dare and she'll go willingly into the dark without complaint. She'll even help replace the iron window grate behind her.

The recess bell rings. Legs like fleshy pistons pumping—all those shins disappear from view. It's only an hour and a half until lunchtime. Meanwhile someone in the fourth grade is bound to figure out the solution to the math problem written on the blackboard.

pop quiz
bits of eraser swept
onto the floor

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