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Photo courtesy of Juraj Varga



In early March, a night wind storm 

knocked out the power in half our Connecticut town.

The next morning one of my students 

snuck his pet hedgehog into school under his coat.

He and his friends stood giggling 

around his locker until a teacher asked

to see what they were hiding.

When I asked him later why he’d done it,

he said there was no heat at his house 

after the storm, and though it probably 

would have been okay to leave him home,

he knew for sure that at school,

he would be safe.

By Joan Glass 



In response to the arrest of Ahmed Mohamed in 2015


I guess anything can be mistaken 

for something dangerous.

A child, for something sinister.

A clock, for a bomb.

A hedgehog, stripped of its quills,

or eyes removed and put back crooked

would be something unrecognizable,

something frightening.

I’ll bet it took hours for Ahmed to take

that broken clock apart and fix it

at his kitchen table in Texas, 

so proud he’d figured it out,

excited to show his classmates.

When his teacher mistook his clock

for a bomb and he was led away in handcuffs, 

his quills fell off.

I wonder if they grew back crooked.

I wonder if they grew back at all.

By Joan Glass 

Joan Kwon Glass is Co-Editor of poetry for West Trestle Review and a Poetry Reader for Rogue Agent. She is a sixth grade teacher and biracial Korean American who lives in Milford, CT. Her poems have recently been published or are upcoming in Rust & Moth, Rattle, SWWIM, Barnstorm, Rough Cut Press, Poets Reading the News, South Florida Poetry Journal, Persephone’s Daughters and others. Her poems have been nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize. Joan tweets @joanpglass and you may read her previously published work at

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