Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Shopping for Privileges"

This poem came out of the August 1, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] ellenmillion. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] daisiesrockalot. This poem belongs to the Torn World project.

"Shopping for Privileges"

It's as much a ritual
as it is about paperwork:
at the end of each form,
the graduating students
go shopping for privileges.

At the end of First Form,
the students become Lettered.

There is the obligatory trip
their first license case and
add a few hobby licenses
to their basic papers.

At the end of Second Form
the students become Scribes.

They buy a bigger license case
with more divisions, and shop for
travel licenses within their city,
along with those needed for
their advancing studies.

At the end of Third Form,
the students become Clerks.

As young adults, they go out
looking for a job or a higher school,
a place to live if it's not provided
by the former, and perhaps
some pleasurable company,
temporary or permanent.

Later there will be marriage
and child licenses to consider,
but for now, these people
are new and free and eager
to sample what the Empire offers.

* * *


Torn World is a shared world project, and you can see my contributor page here.

The page about creating a Southern Empire character has a detailed description of their educational system, but those articles are only accessible to registered members. Registration is free and unlocks a lot of cool stuff on the site, so it's a good idea if you want to read more than one or two items there. The page on licenses is open to everyone, though. Basically, they don't have taxes, they require licenses for pretty much everything; and the fees to purchase those are where the government gets its money.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, economics, education, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, science fiction, weblit, writing
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