Medea Teaches Grade School, Alabama, 1936 by Robyn Groth

Children scrubbed pink slip into desks in neat rows,
warm and soft from peach fuzz to pig tails, squealing,
tapping new shoes, elbowing neighbors. Round eyes
plead for approval.

Slender as a chalk stick, Medea draws breath.
Standing straight, breasts gathering gazes, she calls
roll and smiles. Her glistening teeth and sharp eyes
graze on their youthful

arms and fingers, stretching to Helios, just
like her own two boys when she cut their dear throats.
“O!” She sobs and pictures them sitting right here
learning their letters.

“O,” she calls. “A vowel, the fifteenth letter.
Say ‘O’ riding bicycles, tasting ice cream.
‘O’ when hubby smuggles a new wife
into your bedroom.

“’O’ when this new wife is a princess, who hates
you and fears you, glares at your children, her eyes
plotting their quick death, you can feel it, so you
kill them to save them.”

Jeremy picks lice from his head and Ruth May
weeps. Medea claps the erasers; dust puffs.
Women are pathetic she moans and clap-claps,
making her exit.

Robyn Groth has an MA in linguistics and writes poetry and short fiction. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, three sons and two cats. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Blue Monday Review, The Tishman Review and Vine Leaves Literary Journal.

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