Five Points, Vol. 14 No. 1Fall 2011
From Kim Addonizio, “The one thing I know I won’t quit is poetry.”
Mr. Fern, Freestyle
He heard them as he was coming around the corner. They were gathered at the church steps, as they often were before rehearsal. He stopped just out of sight and listened. They were trading back and forth, improvising:
Mr. Fern, he wild
Rockin’ pleats and loafers
In the Cosby style
Sippin’ on Mylanta, chewin’ on Toms
Mr. Fern, sorry I’m late…
Just don’t call my moms!
Mr. Fern, where my i-Pod
Took that shit three months back
Anything come out of that desk…
You gotta pray to God
Mr. Fern…got a wife with one leg
Every night before bed
He gotta bust out the Pledge!
At that last one, they all broke up laughing. Oh, snap, snap! Bella, that’s ill! That’s too ill! Mr. Fern came around the corner then, and—Oh, shit, busted—the group scattered and flew inside. The three guilty ons stood there, caught, but unsure how much he’d heard. Marshall and Ty looked at the ground, but Bella—ugly, chalky Bella— stared him in the face, defying him to say anything.
“Alright, alright,” Mr. Fern said, “that’s enough fooling around. Get in there and get warming up.” He shooed then in front of him. “Five minutes. Five minutes and you’d better be in those robes and ready to sing.”