Dress Code

excuse me, Miss, he said
I’ve had a request from Mr Smart
he told me to tell you
to cover your work for
another pupil may see and want to copy
keep your hands in your lap
others won’t think straight
if they know you’re thinking too
please don’t ask questions
it’s not fair on those
who wanted to ask them first
don’t share your thoughts
they’re yours, not ours
we promote individuality here,
you know that
don’t bother giving in your homework
so long as you know you’ve done it
that’s enough
i’ve got plenty on my plate
poor me
if anything is bothering you
keep it to yourself
it will help you grow
working on your own problems
don’t use coloured pens,
it’ll only make a mess
keep it black or blue
we’ve decided to scrap capital letters
they’re only a distracting detail
from the real quality of your work
don’t use quotations
we don’t want people thinking
you actually read the books
that’s a waste of time
isn’t it
especially at your age
when you’re learning how the world works
ensure that you’re not
spending too long on anything
we wouldn’t want to put
the teachers through the effort of
giving you a good grade
then you might think you’re worth something
when we all know you’re only here
to fill the seats
to keep the boys interested
to give them excitement
extra entertainment, i suppose
everyone knows that they’d never come
if you weren’t here
and next time, Miss
wear a shorter skirt


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