“Poop-on-the-floor,” insult the kids, preschool
in Billy Collins’ poem, and “Dumb Goopyhead.”
Latino Boy retorts, this poem’s retard,
it’s written by a white. Indian Girl rules,
nobody talks like that. She wants Abdul
to smile at her or smirk at what she said.
A black boy stares, dreaming, into the yard.
The others give up. Their blank looks are cool.
How do I write for these? They’re merely types
within whom roam detachments of girls and boys
and within them grown-ups, their stars, their stripes,
commanding a terrible allegiance. Deploy
rhythm and rhyme? Send for Rumi? LeRoi?
Reduce to gangsta rap? Retard, he snipes.