Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit this weeks roundup!
In basic training the drill sergeants were obsessed with follow through.
Barked commands expected immediate execution.
Even when the order was confusing. Strange.
Like when we were told to look for the soft spot of the tank.
For drill sergeants
Obedience was everything.
Once a training exercise didn’t go as planned
Our platoon guide fresh out of high school like most of us
Caved under pressure easily.
He flailed but barked orders.
Exchanged looks of doubt.
After the training exercise the drill sergeant sat us
down and we reviewed.
Instilled after action/operation:
“Even if you don’t agree at the time, unless you or your team are in mortal danger you execute.”
The time to object, suggest, speak out, fight against, point out an alternative is after the action.
When you are in it you finish.
Even if it’s a train wreck.
I see wisdom in this especially in combat.
But last year school year I said “we need to reckon.”
We would need to sit down and review just what we had done to students
What we had expected of them.
And now this school year is over: I haven’t spoken up.
I’ve towed the line.
I’ve executed followed orders.
Next time I will not bow my head for simplicity, ease, and comfort.
I will speak up. I will advocate.
We can do this differently.
We’ve known the short comings of standardized testing.
We’ve known the short comings of the way we grade.
We know that restorative justice needs to be robust and prominent.
With this I will follow through.