Put Down Your Pencils

PUT DOWN YOUR PENCILS
David Leeson
Key West

The little hand points to twelve.
The big hand points to twelve.
You didn’t think high noon
Would come so soon.

Children, put down your pencils.
The test is now complete.
That time has come with all its perils
To take the final walk
Down that dusty street.

Your usefulness has now expired.
The parting shots have now been fired.
It’s time for you to go
As life’s credits go by.

At the very end, it notes —

Made possible by the following:
For you will be in the group
And others, and much more,
And many more, and viewers like you.

Happy days are not here.
No more WalMart happy pills.
No CNN, BBC, ABC, CBC, GNC.
No happy holidays.
No smiling faces,
No old familiar places.

You had the chance to pass the test.
You repeated the lines you learnt.
You played the games.
You sang the songs.
You read the books.
You did what you were told.
You stayed within the fold.

Now, here are your results.

Children, you all have failed.
All that you knew,
All that you thought,
All that you thought you knew,
All that you knew you thought,
All that you wished you knew,
All that you knew you wished you’d known,

Every second of every minute of every hour
Day, week, year, decade, life,
Programmed with the stroke of a key
Now you are here with me.

This is high noon.
Do not foresake me, you ask,
Give us one last task.
We can change our ways.
We see now the path to follow.

To late.
The fork is behind you.
Those that saw the sign
And took the time to read,
To question, to understand
To see the words

Fools, that way!
The rest, this way.

That was the test.

Those who passed the test
Have handed in their papers
And now have departed
On the sustainable path,
Long before your test ever started.

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