Stephen Scaer


An Honest College Brochure

This playground was built just for you,
so all of your dreams can come true.
Check out the new residence
we’ve built for our presidents
so you’d have a beautiful view.

We’re sensitive stewards who care
for the delicate planet we share.
We’re ranked “The Most Green”
by High Times magazine,
“Most Hipster” by Vanity Fair.

Our campus has handsome young men
who’ll provide for you, care for you when
you’re healthy or sickly,
but make your move quickly:
the ratio’s seven to ten.

The Ivy League played out of bounds
by passing you by on the grounds
that your math scores were low.
Honey, we won’t say “no,”
and we’ll teach you how interest compounds.

Slacker’s Song

This morning as I stepped into the car,
the sun came through. A southern wind was blowing
maple seeds. Leaving the door ajar,
I watched them whirl; forgot where I was going;
that I’d be late, my inbox overflowing
with forms that threaten me with hell to pay.
My heart is much too light for heavy rowing.
I think I have to call in well today.

Why make believe that things are what they are?
It’s office farce. Throughout the early showing,
the audience walked out. I’m not the star,
and I can’t change the script. What good is knowing
the opening reviews were less than glowing?
The world’s a stage. I’ll skip the matinee.
The characters are flat, the plot’s plateauing.
I think I have to call in well today.

I’ve been so busy since it finished snowing,
I left the shovels out. The roof needs tar.
A stand of mulberries is overgrowing
the neighbor’s pool. The dandelions far
outpace the patchy grass, and both need mowing.
The basement’s full of junk to haul away.
Somebody else can stand the line I’m toeing.
I think I have to call in well today.

Since Adam’s fall, man’s cursed to live by hoeing.
I farm a cubicle in disarray;
its blessed harvest shows no sign of slowing.
I think I have to call in well today.


Stephen Scaer‘s work has been published in Cricket, National Review, and First Things. His first collection of poetry, Pumpkin Chucking, is available from Able Muse Press. He lives in New Hampshire, where he teaches special education.