They brought in a boy with an impediment.

“You unclean spirit, I command you to leave.

Ephphatha!” that is, be opened. Cast out,

the demon convulsed and cried out loud.

It’s not his tongue that was released.

“Son, did you have an accident?”

In truth, you must become as a child,

and suffer the swine on the mountainside.

“Jerkoff! Faggot! Cocksucker! Queer!

You sure can’t talk but you can hear.

You fucking sound like porky pig.

You pissed your pants, you little prick.”

The rule is that you must raise your hand

if you need to go to the restroom.

When the teacher says “Yes, young man?”

ask “Please, may I go to the boy’s room?”.

When the teacher says “Yes, you can,”

then get up and go to the bathroom.

Your parents are busy. They have work to do.

Obey your teachers. Work hard in school.

Go out to play in the wilderness.

Climb past the big rock to the archery.

Walk down the dirt road to the old quarry.

Look out and stay away from the big kids.

To answer the phone, you must use these words:

“Hello.  May I ask who’s calling, please?”

When the class recites, and everyone takes turns,

count out the lines to see where you’ll seize.

When the Lord sends you out into the herd,

hold hands together, and jump in the sea.

Ephphatha, 2009, acrylic on panel, 14”H