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Poetry Unit

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    Did I Miss Anything?

    Nothing. When we realized you weren't here
    we sat with our hands folded on our desks
    in silence, for the full two hours

        Everything, I gave an exam worth
        40 percent of the grade for this term
        and assigned some reading due today
        on which I'm about to hand out a quiz
        worth 50 percent

    Nothing. None of the content of this course
    has value or meaning
    Take as many days off as you like:
    any activities we undertake as a class
    I assure you will not matter either to you or me
    and are without purpose

        Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
        a shaft of light suddenly descended and an angel
        or other heavenly being appeared
        and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
        to attain divine wisdom in this life and
        the hereafter
        This is the last time the class will meet
        before we disperse to bring the good news to all people on earth

    Nothing. When you are not present
    how could something significant occur?

        Everything. Contained in this classroom
        is a microcosm of human experience
        assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
        This is not the only place such an opportunity has been gathered

    but it was one place

    And you weren't here

                --Tom Wayman

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