Jon Woodward

Knowledge Game Over Dream

Dealer deals eleven cards each.
Ghosts (dealer and player opposite)
Hold their cards face out,
Can have no knowledge, and do not play.

Of the remaining two players,
One is Teacher and other is Substitute.
Teacher returns to empty classroom
To find Substitute radiant with knowledge.

Teacher’s puzzlement is genuine:
The bell on his desk which he typically rings
As a way to focus the attention of the students
Seems to be ringing itself, over and over.

Substitute urges Teacher to look more closely.
Teacher looks. A string runs from the bell mechanism
Down through a hole in the desk, tugging and slacking
So urgently that the string is wearing away.

Substitute reveals that the room opposite
Has been instructed to ring the bell to excess
Whenever a student guesses a correct answer.
Knowledge equilibrates; game ends.