P Is for Permission

Jennifer Habel

Winter 2017

a cento

When I was a child I thought
the answers to tests had to be
transmitted to a person
through some kind of food

Another memory is of the kindergarten teacher
saying “Good-bye, children,” at the end of the day,
and my envy of the girl whose name I assumed to
be Children

In any case, it seems I was always preparing myself for tests, or thought I was

Who was I, anyway? What was I supposed to do?

If anything, I just thought
I was not an unusual person,
and in retrospect, I wasn’t

Jennifer Habel is the author of Good Reason, winner of the Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition. Her poems have appeared in the Believer, Gulf Coast, the Massachusetts Review, the Southeast Review, and elsewhere.

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