Knox College, 2007

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
An old (ANCIENT!!!ELDERLY!!!!!) poem I wrote in and about boarding school, approx. grade 7.

Submitted: July 18, 2014

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 18, 2014

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A A A


Gloria in the

boarding school way: unfed and brown

with no bills to pay.

 

Once more with feeling, the one armed

minister said, I have dogs that live

better than you, go make your bed.

 

I bit my tongue then, until it bled,

shuffling in to find a stranger’s

underwear in a bucket under my

bed.

 

The playground after, with the

lot of them, Stuffed Fish and

K.J. and Fredrick with his head,

Delano and Romario going on like

wives, Shazzan like whore with

her stilted stride.

 

I talked to Coot that day, with his

cheap smile, he sat at the foot of

my bed, in the light.

 

Donkey went with us to the pool,

then we went back to his shared

room. He undressed before me and

we laughed it off, just before the rain

forced everyone else inside.

 

Someone put a stapler in Oral’s head

that day and Xavier sat by the window

waiting for his dad.

 

We went home that weekend on

vacation. Frederick fainted in the

shower when we got back, slamming

whop! into the slimy floor; He wore

my shirt on Halloween and stretched

out the neck, I wore paper claws and

painted my face red.

 

We had a party in the gym one night,

Fiona didn’t go, she got drunk or

otherwise high on some blessed stone.

Dinner was late that night and we ate in

our finery. She hid it under the guise of ill

heath, but she came down out of her bed, rolling

on the hill like a little girl she stood sideways in

her drunkard’s vision, her hands like roadmaps,

miles of lace.

 

We watched like a gang on a secret

meeting, Shazzan, then Jay, but

no Lisa. Up to bed now, Shazzan

begged but Fiona was angry at something

I’d said. It was a fiction I’d made up

out of boredom and spread like a

hapless cancer around them—no, I don’t

remember so don’t ask me, it was years

ago, I was a baby.

 

They called her a name that was funny

to us—three times the repeater.

The grade she was in, she’d been stuck

there three times, or so Divider said.

 

K.J. called me a cruff because I didn’t

wear any socks, my underwear was wet

from the morning shower standing in

the cold after we’d found water, bathing

in the road because it was easier.  It was

half-night and you could see purple

creeping into the sky and I smelled.

 

A new boy came to us near May. His

name was Raven but his hair was gray.

I liked Raven, with his roaming hands

under the science table, but he wasn’t

my friend. His bed was three over from

mine, he’d come in late and Ms. Wright

had taken his phone just like she’d

taken mine. My mother called me

on it sometimes. He was the one who

broke the window over my bed and I

got sick when the rain blew and muscled

its way in.

 

Once he fought someone, I don’t

remember who, and he cried on

my arm until his eyes turned blue.

 

Stretch left for two days in November,

we all watched him go. It was raining and

he said he wasn’t staying anymore. We all

thought he’d walked home. He came back

and said he’d hid in a bush and smoked grass

with a Guru. He returned like a hero, with

fanfare calling Stretch is coming! Stretch is

coming! I looked him, scalded by the sun, and

though he was an idiot. He acted apish and high-

shot.

 I beat him once with someone’s bucket top.

I don’t know why, but it was a release. My anger had

grown inside of me like a black disease with

pulsations and grime, I gave it to him and after

that he was kind.

Once, toward winter with the mountains cold

and black, we sat—all of us—waiting for a

ghost. He came up from the pool this night

every year, or the elders told us…and we were

foolish in believing.

 

Betty got a nosebleed once on the way to Home Ec.

Then another time in the dinner line. That same

night, Fredrick put his face in his soup.

It was a show —O! I wish you could have seen it!

Not one bubble came up until they fished him,

dried his face and took him home. He stayed

in bed for four days after that and he made

me sing to him from the book I had in my

bag. K.J. taught me how to harmonize while

he scrubbed his underwear that looked

strangely like mine. I thought of suicide then

for the first time. The roof was low and the

ground was hard; you could be dead on it

before the wind caught on. We sang together

like a rush of girls, but we didn’t like each other

they thought I was crude and callous as a child,

That was because I always spoke my mind.

 

Coot came calling once with his

poet’s hands, his soft fingers and his

painted palm. He was a friend, some

kind. Kevin was so jealous he hit me

one time. Someone punched his lights

out through a wall, they beat him bloody

and left him raw.

 

It was fun when I was a child, now,

not anymore, I’ve run out of paper,

so I guess there’s no more.


© Copyright 2019 Stevi Anthony . All rights reserved.

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