Roll Call Fourth Grade

—Diane Vreuls

Philip Jesperson didn’t recognize his name.

Philip Bade wouldn’t take his seat.

Betsy answered only to Elsabeth Ann.

Susan wept in the cloakroom.

“Here” was the only word we ever heard from Tom.

Roger came late, was punished daily.

Diane was sick a lot.

Someone we didn’t know never came at all.


Later we learned Roger walked three miles. Susan was beaten.

Philip B. was hard of hearing. Philip J. never grew beyond

fourth grade. Who didn’t come? Gypsy children camped at

Dam Number 4. Isa working in the family bakery. And Mary.

That was the year the Virgin Mary appeared in vacant lots all

over America. She never came to Illinois.

Published in the 2011-02-25 issue: 
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