Other Poems by:

Becky Foust

Fuzzy Dice

They could be ordered
along with the ring,
 mug, and towel 
mongrammed 
with the class mascot
and year, graduation 
announcements 
and invitations.
 
We didnít need any
of that stuff, just glad 
heíd decided to walk
and that the school 
had decided to let him.

But when I saw 
the line item
for the big fuzzy dice, 
the kind The Fonz 
might hang from the mirror 
of his shiny Mustang, 
I ordered them.
 
We never picked 
them up, and he 
never noticed.

HOW HIS TEACHER SEES IT

Respect is whatís missing here; 
his doodling is insulting; of course 
his IEP allows it, some crap 
about kinetics.  Meanwhile we sweat 
 
all day long because he canít think 
with the window open. Granted, 
heís smart but how do you think it 
made me feel, to be corrected
 
in front of everybody when I made 
that blackboard mistake in the 26th place 
of decimal pi? If heís so smart, why 
canít he remember to turn in

his quizzes? Heís a problem
his mother only makes worse. Christ, 
the noise that time she went ballistic 
about what was really a very little bit 
 
of blood; that game of  crack-the-whip 
played too close to the wall. When 
I asked him how heíd like to miss recess, 
he looked at me, eyes mild as milk 
 
under that beautiful shock
of blond hair and said, No thank you,
Miss Griffin. They say Aspergers kids 
take words at face value, so maybe

he thought it was a serious question.

HOW HE SEES IT

I get yelled at a lot for not 
paying attention, but 
paying attention is all that I do
óthe ant walks the crack 
where the desktop meets
wall, and I fear he will fall 
to the floor the desk legs 
have etched with an intricate 
hieroglyph chain that chants 
some kind of history
I could hear if I listened long 
enough to forget the sound 
of each dry-as-my-mouth 
Cicada that runs its own 
private leaf blower and the 
way the teacherís face looks
twisted up again. Being with 
people I can go a short distance 
but then I begin to drown, 
kicking and stroking donít 
always mesh, awash in gesture 
and sound, raised brow 
and rolled eye that seem 
like they mean something, 
but maybe theyíve 
just got an eyelash in there. 

Gifts

Every gift
contains
a curse,
 
a toxin in
the seed.
 
Gifts have
mouths
that need
to feed
 
and when 
not fed
they 
inward
turn and 
gnaw;
 
gifts 
co-exist 
with
greed.

Ethan Frome

knew what it 
meant to live 
with the mess 
heíd made 
with the sled 
and the night 
and the girl. 
 
You broke 
my nose, 
so you donít get 
to complain 
that I donít 
breathe right, 
or about 
the blood 
on our floor. 

WAITING UP FOR TEENAGERS

Thereís always this fear that this time will be 
the time they didnít come home, 
 
the night you learn to speak the dark language 
of unimaginable, mushroom 
 
and fungus and underneath logs, leaf mold 
and longing
 
for everything gold:  meadow grass ripened 
to hay, her long hair 
 
you used to brush and braid close to her head,
the hours when you went

to your bed in the dumb.slumbering house,
everyone still small, and home.

Biography

I began writing seriously two years ago after retiring from my work as an activist and political 
organizer for parents of kids with autism and other learning disorders. My book about raising a 
child with Aspergerís Syndrome, Dark Card, won the 2007 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Award 
(Texas Review Press), and a second chapbook, Momís Canoe, recently won the 2008 Phillips Prize. 
My full length collection was short listed for the 2008 Crab Orchard Review Series and Poetryís 
2007 Emily Dickinson First Book Awards. My poetry is widely published in recent issues of journals 
such as Cincinnati Review, Journal of the AMA, Margie, North Atlantic Review, Nimrod, and Spoon 
River Poetry Review, and two poems were nominated for the 2008 Pushcart Awards.
Becky Foust Website
Copyright Becky Foust, 2009, All rights reserved
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