The Test Scorer

posted Mar 22, 2011

Had a late night revelation. The essay she ranked
five should have been a four and this gave her pause
more than if it had been a seven she gave a six for
six and seven were not divided by so great a degree
as five and four. Always exact, did she need now to
recalibrate? Confess? Who to? She had to chasten
herself, examine herself. After the study, it was clear.
It was not too late in the afternoon. It was not hunger.
The handwriting's looped l's, blunt n's, weak w's,
yes even the r's ragged tails, resembled her younger
brother's. The one who always insisted on washing
his knees twice with a bar of soap in the bath
who had a predilection for spiders and canned beets,
the one they never spoke of at family gatherings.
Oh five, she finally softly whispered down on her
knees with tears in her eyes: go and sin no more.

Jenn Blair is from Yakima, WA. She has published in Copper Nickel, Kestrel, The Tusculum Review, James Dickey Review, and has work forthcoming in NewSouth, Rattle, and the Tulane Review. Her chapbook "All Things are Ordered' is out from Finishing Line Press, and she teaches at the University of Georgia.

We’ve published three more poems by Blair: “The Book of No Account,” “Mine,” and “When.”