“Marcus Millsap: School Day Afternoon” by Dave Etter
Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High Schools, Hosted by Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
Marcus Millsap: School Day Afternoon
I climb the steps of the yellow school bus, move to a seat in back, and we're off, bouncing along the bumpy blacktop. What am I going to do when I get home? I'm going to make myself a sugar sandwich and go outdoors and look at the birds and the gigantic blue silo they put up across the road at Motts'. This weekend we're going to the farm show. I like roosters and pigs, but farming's no fun. When I get old enough to do something big, I'd like to grow orange trees in a greenhouse. Or maybe I'll drive a school bus and yell at the kids when I feel mad: "Shut up back there, you hear me?" At last, my house, and I grab my science book and hurry down the steps into the sun. There's Mr. Mott, staring at his tractor. He's wearing his DeKalb cap with the crazy winged ear of corn on it. He wouldn't wave over here to me if I was handing out hundred dollar bills. I'll put brown sugar on my bread this time, then go lie around by the water pump, where the grass is very green and soft, soft as the body of a red-winged blackbird. Imagine, a blue silo to stare at, and Mother not coming home till dark!
from Alliance, Illinois
Spoon River Petry Press, 1983
Copyright 1983 Dave Etter.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of Spoon River Poetry Press. Copyright 1983 by Dave Etter. For further permissions information, contact Spoon River Poetry Press, P.O. Box 6, Granite Falls, MN, 56241.
About the Poet
Dave Etter (1928-2015) was the author of 33 poetry collections, including The Yellow House (Red Dragonfly Press, 2014).
Learn more about Dave Etter at the Illinois Center for the Book.