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by Esther Cohen
I grew up in a judging family.
Life was not a matter of relativity.
There was bad and fair and best.
No category was one of apathy.
A was better than B and B
was never good enough.
This method was called Values.
If we did not do well enough
if we were B’s we were on
The Wrong Road. My only B’s
were in Conduct. That is, I always
Talked Too Much To My Neighbor
about anything no subject
too big or too small
and this admonition, written with
various degrees of seriousness
was my report card blight. My talking
was always a matter of Family Discussion.
Esther Cohen is arts consultant to Jewish Currents and to many labor organizations, a novelist, and a poet who writes a poem every day at I Am and I Am Not.