Day 1

In Quaker elementary school
we sat in a circle
on the carpet, eyes meeting
everyone else’s, and each
spoke our piece.
“I have feedback for Bess
or June, or
Jimmy.” They could accept
or refuse 
to hear it — no 
judgment was passed either
way. Craig,
the guidance counselor — who
years later, one morning,
would wake up and suddenly
insist he be called
Dr. Phillips — mediated,
though it didn’t take much.
We were methodical
in our criticisms,
composed in our structured


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