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The Eggplant


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My neighbor is teaching her two-year-old to read the Wall Street Journal

It all began when she woke up one morning
and heard on NPR that US kids are behind.
And there was her son squshing Cheerios with his thumb,
Not even counting them.
Just squishing.

"Ohmygod," she worried, "I'm leaving this boy behind.
How will he ever get ahead in the Global Economy?"

Too old for Baby Einstein, she bought her boy
a subscription to the Wall Street Journal,
figuring it's never too young to get a feel for the landscape.

They read together after morning vitamins.
He sits beside her, his sticky little fingers
tracing the letters SMART MONEY,
While she reads the Nasdaq numbers,
Nuzzling his neck and whispering encouragement
into his soft, pliant ear.

He is a handsome child with curly hair and bright brown eyes.
And she is a good teacher.
Persistent but not impatient,
Later encouraging him to fingerpaint the page
orange and purple, his favorite colors.
Princeton's colors, too.

Admittedly, phonemes are still a frustration,
But she's making flashcards to upgrade the
Wall Street Journal breakfast experience.
Phonemes for the Global Economy.

Too young to pick stocks on his own,
For now, she manages
his portfolio as well as his phonemes.
And he's on the A-list for the right sort of pre-school.

— Susan Ohanian
The Eggplant



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