Joan Wiese Johannes

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Man Talking on His Cell Phone in the Airport

When your kids come home with perfect attendance
be proud of that stuff,
every little thing.
Keep that stuff.
Don’t throw it in the trash.
Education—Mama couldn’t pay for it.
I got a scholarship.
You can take everything else,
but you can’t take that degree from me.
That is why I put my diploma on the wall.
I got out of jail on Monday.
You know what I’m saying, Bro?

You know what I’m saying, Bro.
I got out of jail on Monday.
That is why I put my diploma on the wall.
You can’t take that degree from me,
but you can take everything else.
I got a scholarship.
Education—Mama couldn’t pay for it.
Don’t throw it in the trash.
Keep that stuff.
every little thing
Be proud of that stuff
when your kids come home with perfect attendance.


Joan Wiese Johannes

Joan Wiese Johannes from Port Edwards, WI, has been widely published in journals and anthologies and has four chapbooks, including He Thought the Periodic Table Was a Portrait of God from Parallel Press. Her most recent publication is a crown of sonnets, Happily Ever After, whimsically illustrated by her poet/artist husband Jeffrey. More information about Joan is at Book That Poet.