Friday, April 7, 2017

To the Teenage Boy Walking to School

It's been four years
since I've been in the classroom
but I still recognize the gait
    backpack slung low on the shoulders
earbuds in
    eyes on the sidewalk
head down, just a little
not gazing up at all
as if afraid to look the sun in the eye

I could tell from the look
I wonder what happens every day
    Do they taunt you
Is there someone who hates you
for no reason
Tearing up your homework between the bells
or breaking your pencils
    leaving you to take notes with a stub
or worse
    asking the teacher for a pencil
    bracing yourself for them to roll their eyes
    asking you why you never have a pencil

I speed by
    Life moves fast in the morning
    In my rearview mirror
    I watch you slowly shuffle along the sidewalk
    The school only two blocks away

    I say a small prayer
    that maybe today will be a good day
    for you

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