I am a public school success. I cannot number the presidents. I cannot remember if Uruguay is an Eastern European or South American country. I still struggle through the most elementary math and remember having a special tutor to help me learn to tell time on an analog clock. We were required to remember a Robert Frost poem and recite it before the class, docked points for every word missed. All I remember is: “Whose woods are these I think I know…” and “Many miles to go before I sleep…” Which may actually be two separate poems.
Not all was a shameful loss, though. I do remember learning an embarrassingly vulgar joke about a boy named Deeper that I learned in second grade. SECOND GRADE! I remember the sense of pride I felt when, in my honors literature class, I received an A on a paper I wrote about Huck Fin, which is a book I have never read. I remember watching The Gods Must Be Crazy, Love Story (seriously?! love means never having to say you’re sorry?! lame!), and Voyage of the Mimi.
There is a poem that I learned in first grade and have never forgotten. It moved me and was a brief spark in my educational track. This poem I have recited to my parents dismay for over twenty years and have used it to woo my husband. This poem represents some of the greatest success my public school education provided. Today, in honor of love, I share it with you:
A peach is a peach
A plum is a plum
But a kiss ‘aint a kiss
‘Less you give it some tongue
Love y’all like crazy cakes!