The Adirondack Review

“Tutoring for admissions is a disservice to a young child because the distorted scores may contribute to an inappropriate placement in a school where he or she will be under undue pressure to perform.”  
                                ―Educational Records Bureau

She disregards the triangulation
of bishops.  No patience, either,
for the stubborn passage of pawns.

Her life, and the few true lessons
which compose it, come quickly to light.
Losing, she locks her door to cry.

“Mummy dreams of Dalton;
Daddy, Horace Mann.”
This is how fear is taught.
The giving, and the taking away.

After dinner, we practice
motor skills and mazes.
She stares out the penthouse window
as her pencil rattles to the floor.
Abandoned in the labyrinth,
holding the wrong end of a frayed rope―

Futile tutor!  Here I am, splashing
in the same river, again. 

She seems to find comfort in the rain,
at least; the puddles slowly gathering
on the sill.  Perhaps every drop
will find the drain in good time.

After several years as a private investigator in New York City, John J. Powers relocated with his wife to a cottage in rural Connecticut, where he is now at work on a novel.