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Little Horrors and Labeled Applesauce

At school,
When the teacher told us to sit down,
She would say:
“Criss, Cross, Applesauce.
Hands in your lap!”

We would fold our legs Indian style.
Others wouldn’t question.
But I always wondered:
Why not just make things simpler?
Why not just say sit down?
Why. Not.

Because they think we are incapable of thought.
We are unable to be free.
Forever strapped down by pointless rules.
Because we have to sit a certain way.
We have to eat a certain way.
We have to speak a certain way.

Applesauce,
Was what I had every lunch.
The glop of mashed up apples,
Proudly announcing the name Motts,
And smelled a sickly sweet.

It was doused and sugar,
Not at all 100% real fruit.
It stuck between my fingers and on the spoon.
And I always wondered:
Why do we believe the labels on the packaging?
Why don’t we try it for ourselves?
Why. Not.

Because the mother is looking for the cheapest buy.
She has no care of the quality.
She feeds the children what she thinks his healthy,
And each day force feeds them the sugar that makes them fat.
The children become like the label.
Only seen from the outside,
So no one tries them out for what’s inside.

School would end with a bus ride each day.
The fake leather seat, smelly with little kid sweat.
And our chubby bodies piled two to a seat.
When one got off,
We slid the windows down so we could breathe.
Our breath coming out in whistles as we tried to suck in the humid air that rushed by.

I sat next to a girl named Penny.
I never knew her because her label said only 5% real and 95% looks,
And I only play with the 90%’s.
When she left I’d slide across her spot.
I’d lie in the warm puddle of sweat and try to get rid of my car sickness.
While I laid there I wondered:
Why do they take us on such a hot ride through the desert?
With no air conditioning or music.
Why. Not.

Because our parents are forced to work each day.
And they can’t find the need or want to pick us up themselves.
They are the superior.
And we are the minor inconvenience.

Because we are the slave of the adults.
We shall do as they say.

We must cross our legs.
Eat applesauce.
And put our sweaty hands in our lap.




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