Assimilation

People who speak Spanish all have outside jobs, my daughter announces
as the Mow ‘n Blow crew descend from a truck to ravish our lawn. I read her a book about dark children dancing, playing drums with wrinkled elders, eating fried plantains. Bored, she grabs Dr. Seuss.
I’m not Latin Mommy.
I’m light pink like you.

If your family would call
, I tell my husband or if you made rice and beans.
Maybe if we got somebody white to cut the grass.

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Standardized

Headaches, nausea, asthma, crying,
sleep disturbances, reluctance
to go to school—in forty-five states,
the children ready their pencils.
Let’s Solve This, the Exxon announcer
purrs, while bright, hopeful cities
configure themselves in the background.
Using your knowledge
of oil companies, what can you infer
about the speaker’s motives? How is Common Core
like drilling in the sea?

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