getting caught, getting taught

Lina Krishnan


Been through high school and college

But I couldn’t read or write

Going to school was going to war


Being a teacher seemed a good place to hide

17 years telling my students: be seekers of truth

But I was the biggest liar in the room

Crossed the line, I wasn’t just cheating

Was a criminal


Looking back it was crazy

Never written a sentence

Didn’t ask for help, never told anybody

48 years in the dark


Then…“Cathy, I can’t read”

She thought I didn’t read much

Love is blind and deaf

Gave up on myself, went on “teaching”


Then our three-year-old said

“You’re not reading it like mama

Finally got the monkey off my back

And learned to write


First thing I wrote, was a poem

Thing about poetry, you don’t have to know

A complete sentence, or write it


This poem was written using only the words that appeared in a newspaper article, turning the journalistic piece about a neo-literate into verse.

[My article source was from the BBC:]

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