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Photo courtesy of Seema Miah

Poetry

Social Justice Warrior in the Classroom

By David Galef

The teacher teaches Hemingway, 

“Hills Like White Elephants” of course 

not “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” 

since what 10th-grade English class 

would dig the nihilism 

the teacher faces down every day 

or fondly thinks he does? 


The teacher teaches the inequality 

between the American and Jig, 

between men and women in general. 

He gets the students talking 

about manipulation, sex, and power. 


The teacher teaches how 

this situation exists in real life, 

carefully skirting whether 

abortions are a right women should have 

because a few students seem Catholic. 

He doesn’t know how to talk about race. 


The teacher teaches that this is how 

to hear dialogue in between the lines, 

that the students have to be careful readers, 

because look how people treat each other, 

and ends in a self-congratulatory mood, 

boy did I teach well today, 

perhaps unaware, but I mean, really? 

that the students know this shit already.

David Galef is a shameless hack who’s published over a dozen books, including the novel Flesh, the short story collection My Date with Neanderthal Woman, and the children’s book Tracks. His latest volume is Brevity: A Flash Fiction Handbook. He’s also the newest editor of the oldest flash fiction magazine on the planet, Vestal Review. Day job: English professor and creative writing program director at Montclair State University. Website www.davidgalef.com; Twitter handle @dgalef.