in grade school november 11 was

armistice day my favorite teacher

was miss herman we learned about

indians in third grade from unbiased

texts but never met an indian – "wash"

she pronounced "warsh" an ignorance

I forgave (in college learned it's a

regionalism) she fielded ron grove's

jeering our belief in santa by saying with

a slight smile her eyes focused out the

window "I've never met him but I do

know there is a christmas spirit" – even

my sister recalls a class disrupter would

have a paper towel loosely strung across

the mouth ear to ear we neither endured

that disgrace – she explained on armistice

day about the war to end all wars--at exactly

11 o clock we sat at our desks hands folded

in silence watched the huge clock listened

to it tick as its hands crept forward three

minutes or was it five my thoughts were

how very slow time moves when you gaze

at the clock – today the holiday is renamed

as war after war most undeclared go on

and on while the extinction clock's minute

hand moves closer ever closer to twelve

2019 Jacqueline Jackson

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