SAT Scores

By on Oct 13, 2013 in Poetry

SAT test with superimposed red heart


(for my daughter)

Love is SAT scores,
my neighbor says,
they have so much to do
with who meets who
on a college campus,
love now waiting in line
with suprising legions
of seventh-grade students,
your decision, not mine,
to take the early SAT,
this country’s fingerprint,
the marks you make
whirl-whorl weak
and perhaps weeded-out,
or good, better, best,
ancient potency of phallus,
your girl-boy mind
wielding #2 pencil,
love somewhere inside you
as I am inside you
through life and death
we will enter together
the doors of others,
and some lucky one
will open your door,
find you waiting alone
for whatever comes next,
and I there, too,
a child in your lap,
ghost-like, quiet,
love in my eyes.




David Linebarger teaches Interdisciplinary Humanities and Comparative Religions at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, where he lives with his wife and two children. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including The Bitter Oleander, Borderlands, The Cider Press Review, Slipstream, and The Wallace Stevens Journal. He is also the author of a chapbook, War Stories, from Pudding House.


  1. I thought this was good!

  2. It made me cry for some reason, I know the reason but… I loved it.. I know you and your daughter are so close!! Your passion for teaching always shines through and this is so special!

  3. So sadly lovely that the “machine” system promised to make our lives better have only made delightful, individual children’s futures left to the lack of mercy of the #2 pencil and autotron ignoring completely the treasure of unique gifts inside each child that no machine can ever measure. When will we ever learn?