I saw a picture today of a one-room school house
class taken around 1910.
The children look sickly, big bags under their eyes
like they’ve been up late at night and up early in the morning.
Their father’s probably beat them in the corn
and expected them to wear out their one pair of shoes
shuffling back and forth across the long acres of the farm.
How tired they must have been
them that were children in a time when children were a commodity.
The schoolmarm with her Seattle education and her fancy petticoats
would look at them with pity and say a little prayer for their
‘education.’ She would hope that the little ones could learn
without being given more than the basics.