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Poem in response to Quality Education
April 2018
By Kelsey Cashman
CC Image courtesy of Bely Medved

The teacher begins to hand out tests

Making her way between the desks.

She hands me mine, I give it a look

Then flip it over, try not to seem shook.


Another test, another D

another day hiding the true me.

I knew all the answers, same as always,

But jocks can’t be smart, or so everyone says


If I were to do well in class,

All I’d get is my teammates’ laughs.

Ridicule, ribbing, shaming galore,

Trust me I know—I’ve been through it before.


I want so bad to do well in school,

But I need to maintain my image of cool.

Why must it always be this way?

Why must we shame those who get As?


At home, I tell my parents the grade

And watch as their faces fill with shame.

“This has gone far enough” they angrily say

“Until your grades go up, no more football is played”


I fill with anger, start to protest

But then I realize this is for the best.

Now I have an excuse to try,

And my abilities I will no longer hide.


Education is too important to waste-

School lasts forever, but footballs a phase.

Stereotypes away should be thrown.

“Nerd” and “jock” – why not both?


Why must they be two separate things?

Well not anymore, because I don’t think

The size of my brain affects the strength of my body

So from now on, I don’t care what you call me.


I’m taking back my education,

And urge others to join me all over the nation

In realizing that a person can be

Both athletic and smart—just look at me.

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