Poem 435

When the professor handed us an “example” answer to one of the essay questions, written by a former student, Carla started crying. She had to have known ahead of time they were going to do Dickinson, Carla whispered angrily after he left, her small face silently overtaken by red splotches. There is no way she could have written this otherwise.

We all knew it was Annie’s paper, and the general consensus was that Annie did know before the time of the exam that it was Emily Dickinson’s “Poem 435” students would be asked to explicate. I walked out of the room, away from Carla, and smug-smiled Lisa, and Louie with his constant Gardetto’s and energy drinks, and whoever else was in there. I walked home slowly for once.

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