THE LOUDSPEAKER AND THE LIGHT

Tin roofs, door-less, window-less
gaps, long wooden desks as thin as an arm.
A handful of makeshift buildings

Hunched in the dim within,
uniformed girls listen as the teacher
spells out l, o, u, d, s, p

Half in/ half out the door frame,
back to the sun, knee deep in the cold,
she leans, shouting:

“listen to the principal!”
His w, i, s, d, o,
slurs through low slung wires

lassoing the school to an outdoor stage.
All morning students mimic and chorus their lessons
Straddling the entrance, well-tended shrubs

misspell the school’s name.
A polyethylene sign
drapes the schoolmaster’s balcony.

Its ominous N E W
trumpets the education
afforded within.

No light-bulbs dangle in the classrooms
as they do in the office
where the fees are counted.

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